Too Much with the Digital World

Now that I’m back in San Pedro La Laguna in Lake Atitlan, I am amazed that I’ve reentered the analog world. People don’t have smartphones and the internet isn’t ubiquitous. It’s a bit sad, but in some ways, I feel like I was too much with the digital world back home. At times, I was no longer making footprints in my life, I was only making digital prints, digital copies of memories, and losing touch with what it meant to really experience something without regard to whether I could share it, tweet it, email it, or post it.

It’s easy to live in the digital world. The convenience of information and entertainment can be addictive, and sometimes these abilities can become a competition of who’s got the theĀ  most versatile gadget with the best internet signal. When I was home for three weeks, I saw clearly how much of my life was spent being addicted to shiny screens. Just take a look at my workspace below:

Pictured above are the following electronic devices:

  • HP Laptop
  • Macbook
  • External hard drive
  • iPod
  • iPod touch
  • Cell Phone (my same one from 3 years ago)
  • Droid (x2)
  • Kindle (x2)
  • Flip Video
  • 19″ secondary monitor.
  • 5.1 speaker system.

Now, a few of these belong to my brother, but seriously this is crazy. Here in Guatemala, there is a need for people to rent a telephone. When was the last time you thought about having to leave your house to go call someone?

For me here, it’s hard to get information. You have to go talk to people. Yikes.

I remember when I was asking about where I could find a guitar to play. A guy from the church drew me a picture. That’s right, he asked for something to write on and he drew me a picture. Strangely enough, some of the roads don’t have names, so he drew landmarks next to the location of the music store.

Here’s a picture of my guitar with his small map.

I’m live my life in two worlds, both the digital and the analog. I have a laptop here in Guatemala which is incredibly uncommon (even for travelers like me) and I’m posting about my experiences on my blog.

Slowly, the analog world is making it’s way into my life. Right now, I’m smelling the aroma of roasting coffee and watching the delight of a father and his sons marvel at the machinery of the coffee roaster.

Coffee season has begun in San Pedro La Laguna, Solola, Guatemala.

I’d love for you to experience sitting in this chair in this cafe, but I have to apologize because this experience is mostly analog.

3 thoughts on “Too Much with the Digital World

  1. MArko

    1. I heard about this trendy new movie called Catfish, where these guys start filming their lives and discover that their online world is not what they think it is… reminded me of the whole “film your life” thing.

    2. I am a big fan of a bunch of people getting together and sitting around in a room and talking. Beach Time is my favorite activity, and it may or may not be enhanced by having your laptop there.

    3. Coffee Season… awesome.

  2. Aaron Post author

    Marko,

    1. I couldn’t agree more. But still, I would like to record everything before I come to any final judgments.

    2. I agree absolutely. El tiempo de la playa es mucho mejor! I especially like your ideas relating to the “online Bible study” and the “Bachelor commentary.” Fantastic theories and even better in practice!

    3. Coffee season toda la vida! The coffee is good here.

    4. We need to have online “Cafe Club.”

    Let’s do it!

  3. Doug

    You must be living in a bizarro San Pedro.

    I lived there for most of 2009 and technology was everywhere. Old Maya women with mobiles, jam packed internet cafes, and travelers hanging out at La Piscina — each with a laptop connected to the speedy WiFi network. So many Macs that it looked like an Apple store.

    San Pedro is definitely on the grid. And the coffee IS great.

    Cheers!

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