Friday, 26 February 2010

Stop to smell the roses!

Contrary to vastly exaggerated rumours of kidnapping in South America or even death, I am actually very much still alive and kicking; I just haven't been doing that much here. Nor on Twitter, not so much on Facebook or Foursquare either. I'm still following these to an extent, adding the odd comment and replying to people but not as actively as before my holidays in December.

I was lucky to spend the whole month of December in Peru and Bolivia, I took this photo on the last day of the Inca trail, a magnificent view overlooking the Urubamba river from the top of Inca farming terraces. I obviously wasn't stuck to a computer screen all the time over there as I usually am in London and didn't get any painful withdrawal symptoms. I still don't miss it that much either. I've been getting back up to date into the advertising / digital / tech / planning news and back into day to day work, and haven't been feeling any massive urge to broadcast online. I've also been thinking about a few different projects, such as writing more fiction, which I have been doing a little bit of, and making stuff but I don't know what yet.

I'm not really sure what is behind having kept a bit quiet on the various social sites lately, but what occurs to me right now is that as much as I love the Internet, you just can't beat reality.

Exchanging a few tweets is fun, but never as great as having a proper conversation around a table with a few beers or a bottle of wine.

I love reading my favourite planning type blogs, but it's never as good as exchanging ideas and talking with their authors over lunch.

The photo I posted above looks great, but only the reality of sitting on that ledge with the whole valley at your feet might actually take your breath away.

Amongst a few other things that happened lately and are probably influencing this post, my aunt passed away last week and I was in Holland for the funeral on Friday. It was quite unexpected. It was a great family weekend and we celebrated my aunt Anneke's memory with many stories, sadness, tears, laughter, excellent food and too much drinking. I hadn't seen my aunt in over two years, only talked to her a few times on the phone, and the last interaction we ever had was actually through Facebook given she recently registered. Maybe that'll be completely normal one of these days, but in the meantime it feels pretty weird to me.

I was reading this article earlier today, extraordinarily featuring my friends Kai and Michael which also made me wonder some more about this.

Everything is moving so fast in this digital age where we are consuming and compiling plenty of stuff from plenty of places, but are we really appreciating and enjoying them?

As awesome as technology and the Internet are, they're a means, not an end. And whether you choose to stop from time to time and smell the roses or not, at the end you'll really just be dead all the same.

Are you stopping to smell the roses..?