Lost in the Time of iPhones
I had a thought while riding my bike today (first time all spring!): I will never be lost again. While riding around town, I thought about how I used to ride my bike around the city of Providence during my senior year at RISD, I had just gotten a new bike and had not yet become equipped with an iPhone. I would just wander around the city and at times not know where I was. I had to try to maintain a peripheral awareness of where I was at all times to not become totally lost. This type of experience will never happen again, at least not in this pure, naive condition.
In order to be physically lost, we need to force it; force ourselves to feel lost, not because of disorientation or an inability to recognize landmarks and landscapes, but by putting ourselves into situations that warrant us to say, “This is what it must feel like to feel lost.” That is, not to be lost, just to feel lost. No longer is it a state of existence, it’s an unawareness; a state of consciousness we have to create outside the confines of technology. All too often do we find ourselves shackled to our devices, relying on them to fulfill tasks that past generations completed by muscle memory, relocating this knowledge, supposedly engrained, from our brains to our fingertips. Take, for instance, a growing societal problem: In the age of digital reliance, what would we be without our devices? Free from the binds of dependence, as we pretend to be when we turn them off or purposely leave them in the car, or just utterly useless, like a ill equipped civilian in a ill fated world? Since we cannot become lost in already chartered and conquered territories, the next best thing is to submit; roll on our backs and capitulate, because without or portable, rechargeable, upgradable brains, we would be… lost.