Monthly Archives: October 2014

Technology is Not the Enemy – You Are

The question “What is wrong with the world today?” begs to be answered.

The answer may simply be “You.”

As technology reaches even the most remote places in the world, clearer and more reliably than ever before, another question comes to mind. I don’t believe that technology is the enemy. And no, I don’t believe you are either. But this is important and you are listening, right?

Is this too much of a good thing?

When all the great and fabulous extras of our day to day lives (our smarter than smart phones, iPods, iPads and more) begin to take the joy out of the here and now ~ even on vacations, it is too much.

Technology is Not the Enemy

Our Fall Season has come to a close and while I have many adventures, thoughts and lessons to share with you over the next while, there is one very important thing we should chat about.

Your technology is destroying the wilderness!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do love my gadgets. A lot. A whole lot, actually. And the Good Lord knows I absolutely live to share the photographs I take in the Alaskan wilderness with you online.

The problem comes in, as it became painfully and obnoxiously obvious this fall, at the point where people seem to be unable and unwilling to put it away. Turn it off.

At Pioneer Outfitters live and work year-round in the very remote Interior Alaska Mountains and it is incredibly beautiful and unspoiled.

Technology is not the Enemy

Technology is Not the Enemy

Never before, in all my years of leading guests and clients as we ride out across the Alaska tundra and through the forests and rivers have I turned to look back and seen these people texting on which ever smart phone or gadget they favored and brought into the wilderness and on their horse with them.

Never before have I encountered guests sitting on a log or a rock talking on their fancy GPS phones as I struggled to get horses unloaded, tents set up, a campfire started and dinner going.

And never have I seen such unparalleled disinterest in this magnificent land, the amazing creatures that roam freely and quite honestly, us.

Every year, every season, every adventure brings countless lessons to each of us in undeniable ways. My own resounding lesson for this season was not to ever bring up the fact that I have my very own satellite phone now. (I was pretty thrilled! Mine, all mine!)

That was all it took.

Daily, I was asked to borrow it, just to call home and check in with or check on a deal that was going on. It got to the point of transparent lies! “Oh, I would really like to call my Grandson, it is his birthday.” Only to remind this particular human later in camp that it was his Grandson’s birthday and he could call if he wished and be told by the human’s Father that that particular birthday was two months away.

Enough said.

Another point in this issue is that it isn’t only the guests and clients that are addicted to the technology.

It is everybody.

Technology is not the Enemy

We have always welcomed our Trainees with as much information ahead of time as possible to allow them to feel as much at home as they can in such a remote place and different than anything experienced lifestyle. Including reminding them to bring their laptops, iPads or whatnot’s.

The return on this thoughtfulness is a lack of connection here, to us, to what we are doing and to each other. It is the elimination of games and chats in the evenings, going over the day’s work and lessons, talking over the plans for the future and any sort of contentment to be found so far from home for many of them.

So lets so back to our first question. “What is wrong with the world today?

It is a lack of being present, here and now, in each others lives.

It is not looking at the gifts that surround us all, everyday, no matter where any of us may be. Those gifts, be it another human, a beautiful sunset, a flower growing out of a crack in the concrete, a ray of sunlight hitting a building just so or a magnificent wild critter encountered by chance are all there, for all of us to treasure.

It is up to you.

Technology is not the enemy.