I don’t know what to say nor what to write. Ever since I visited California I’ve been different.
Ever since I walked through the Red Woods at Muir Woods and gazed upon Yosemite’s peaks and valleys I have not been the same.
It would be easy to think how being so close to the birthplace of computers and Silicon Valley would inspire me to do more in tech. But it’s been just the opposite.
I want less to do with it now more than ever.
I visited the HP Garage. I rode by Steve Jobs’ house (and felt a little dirty) and the original Facebook house.
I saw the current Facebook offices. I drove past Mozilla. I saw the ASK.com and ART.com buildings. I was not far from the Googleplex nor Apple. But I didn’t go. I didn’t even try.
After sitting in a grove of Red Woods or seeing the mighty sequoia trees, the iPhone doesn’t compare.
Tech especially the bubble of apps and phones it has become seems to small and insignificant. There is no future there. Nothing lasts. Everything is ephemeral.
The Red Woods are measured in terms of decades, event centuries. They were here long before any of us and will stay long after we go.
It brings some perspective to the world where everything is hyped beyond belief and each tiny change is a major disruption of an entire industry.
Technology is not interesting to me. I don’t care what the latest device can do.
My iPhone was the perfect traveling companion for this trip. It was my camera. It was my GPS device. It spent a lot of the day on airplane mode while I was exploring the forests and National Park.
I didn’t want to let the world in, I wanted to enjoy it. I wanted to capture it.
Did you know the panorama mode works brilliantly when used vertically?
I was able to capture the towering trees by slowly panning up them. It made me smile when I figured it out and now I have some photos of the huge trees to enjoy.
The phone isn’t important for how much RAM it has or what network it’s on. It doesn’t matter what version it is or how I feel about it.
It matters because it was a great camera. Paired with a Canon S90, it captured my wife and I on vacation. It captures where we went and what we did. It helps me remember.
I have a poor memory and it helps to look at a few photos. Then the other times come flooding back. The soft breeze as it washed over me. The smell of a nearby cedar forest. The one obnoxious woman on her cell phone at Glacier Point.
The phone is a tool. It allowed me to find my way through a foreign place and capture the beauty I saw there.
It was important for what it allowed me to do. Not for what it was. It could have been any number of phones or devices and accomplished the same thing.
It enabled me to enjoy myself. That is what technology should be.