I find myself pondering, all to often, the impact of the internet and social media on my earth connected life. Can the two extremes function together? I have been going back and forth and back and forth and…………. I think I have finally come to a satisfactory conclusion *for me* ! They can work together!
I was born on the Family Farm in Concord, Massachusetts. While life has taken me to many places and in many directions, I have always maintained a connection to the soil, to the land. It is in my blood! As a child, I lived in the country, we had a big garden and I can remember renovating a large shed with my brothers (using lumber from a collapsed barn, salvaged nails, a hand saw and a hammer) to ready for the pair of bottle lambs our neighbor was giving us.
Later as an adult, we raised our own beef, pork, lamb and poultry. Hand milked our Guernsey cow, Molly, and eventually her two daughters Matilda and Martha.
During these years there was only television and it played a very small role in life! Strictly controlled when we were young ( Black & White) and not that important in later years.
WELL, full disclosure requires that I confess to watching a full week of Betty Davis movies (two per night) when I was in college!
Now, in my 65th year, the world is much different and more complicated
The world is wired. Computers and Smart Phones link to the internet, facebook, twitter and on and on. Many people are “connected” all the time. Separated from real human to human interactions. Families, under the same roof, connect individually to the net while often communicating with each other electronically! This electronic evolution/revolution seems to isolate and separate from other people and from nature.
Part of me has argued internally for outright rejection. I resisted computers until I decided in 1997 that I needed to learn how to use them or be left behind. At that point they had not become so invasive. I decided, that in order to understand how they work, I needed to create a webpage from scratch using html codes. I did it and never have had to since as an IT Husband does it for me now:)
I do not have a smart phone! I do not want or need one. I do have a cell phone. I can make a call, send a text and take a picture. That is all I need.
My being loves having my hands in the dirt in the garden, the poultry, the natural world in general AND my being enjoys and needs nice things – books, art, silver and china. That combination creates what I call “elegant simplicity”
Nothing beats an evening with friends, gathered at a nice table, with good food and conversation and suddenly someone says: “OH my goodness it is after midnight” Those not frequent enough occasions are the frosting on life. Now, chances are the communications that gathered us together were via e-mail.
SO yes, modern technology fits an earth connected lifestyle if it is managed to enhance and not take over! I use facebook! Not for a zillion friends I do not know but to maintain contact with a few friends scattered far and wide. Friends from my days at Borders. Friends connected to Star Island. Some friends I have connected with because of joint interests in gardening, poultry, food and lifestyle. I use FB for gardening connections. How else would I be able to connect with and follow Ben Falk or John Forti or, or, or……
Fayrehale White Chanteclers in winter housing.
Fayrehale Icelandics in winter housing
Currently there are 427 people following the Chantecler page and 75 following the newly created Icelandic page. That is over 500 people that we have connected with for our poultry sales. Something that would never have happened without the internet! Our beautiful small Vermont village is the perfect place to live. Selective utilization of modern technology allows us to connect across the country and around the world with like minded people.
I am state emphatically that modern technology enhances and expands our simple, earth connected life! It allows us to be connected with like minded people and thus less isolated in our existence.
So, as the Hackmatacks turn yellow and prepare to shed their needles, we have moved back into the house for the winter. It is time to dust and clean the dining room (The incubator ran in the dining room from March to September:) so that we can have friends over for supper.
And YES, we will use e-mail to make the arrangements!