In today’s age, the outdoors have become an almost sacred place of solitude and escape for those who find themselves trapped in urbanized areas of concrete and chaos. Personally, I try to escape into nature as much as possible; I like to think that it keeps me sane and incredibly humbled. However, I have found it increasingly difficult to truly “escape” into nature when the hubbub of technology works so diligently to reel me back in.
In a recent trip to Yosemite National Park, I noticed this was the case for many fellow visitors as well. Upon arriving at one of the first popular viewpoints of the park, I was overwhelmed by the sea of selfie sticks, cameras, and iPhones snapping away to capture the best angle of the park or a selfie with a small wedge of park visible in the background. Naturally, I caught myself doing the same-exact-thing. But as I tried so hard to capture the perfect shot, I realized I was focusing so much on trying to capture the beauty on my screen that I wasn’t truly experiencing the beauty that stood all around me.
Hake a look at these photos.
Sure they might make us ‘ooooh and ahhh’, but they barely come close to doing justice to the actual experience. On a screen, the image is merely a million or so pixels that attempt to depict the scene…but in reality, this visual is filled with a countless number of different colors, sounds, and tangible sensations from the wind, the sun, and the snow.
So, what I am trying to say is that while we try so hard to get a perfect shot that we can nostalgically look back upon to remember a special place or time, we are forgetting to truly live in the moment and take in all of the small details that become left out from an image and easily forgotten.
I challenge you to #unplug yourself.
Next time you go outdoors if only for a brief afternoon or a weeklong vacation, leave your technology behind. Fully immerse yourself in your outdoor experience and see how much more valuable it becomes to you as opposed to the value derived from looking at photos.
Here is a list of National Parks in our home state, California – I hope it inspires you to get out into nature and unplug.