I took the bus home from a day-trip to New York last night. While riding back to DC, I posted an image last night of a person who was driving while texting. I called him a dipsh*t because he was driving and also doing something on his phone. In my mind, if you are driving and texting, you are only doing one of those things, and it isn’t driving.
A friend commented that he wished a pox on all cell phones. In his mind, they are ubiquitous and mostly useless. I thought about it and couldn’t disagree more. I think our mobile devices have revolutionized the way we live. For example, many years ago, I was in South Africa to teach an environmental education workshop. Many of the participants were from the neighboring countries. Many had just gotten cellphone technology. Their lives were changed forever. They had never had land lines between homes or business or villages and towns. To communicate, they had to travel to the places. Suddenly, they were able to connect with one across many miles and get and give information. To them, this was miraculous. And I can imagine how it would be. Communication and the free exchange of information has leaped ahead with the advent of this technology and the developed and the developing world. I find that miraculous too.
In addition to communication, cellphones have also revolutionized the way we create. We can now capture inspiration the second it strikes. We can record snippets of lyrics or music or poetry or prose. We can take photos and capture images that strike us. And what’s more, we can share them and perhaps inspire others to do the same.
For myself, I used to take a lot of photographs. And then because of time constraints, I culled that activity. I no longer had time to set up the darkroom. While I loved taking photos, I could no longer devote the time or resources to it that it deserved.
However, now with cell phones, I can capture and share images and with luck enrich others’ experiences by having done so.
Last night, while leaving the bus, I took the image below.
I shared the image, and one of the responses was, “It looks like the Emerald City.” And it does. Perhaps, someone will be inspired by the image to do something else. I know I was. I realized that the climatic scene from my next book will take place right here. And now I know how to describe the location perfectly.
The images we capture and share can bring joy, laughter, peace, and inspiration. We can also use those same phones to write. Several chapters of my most recent book, “The Piano’s Key” were written on my phone while riding the bus. I also recorded parts into my phone so I could hear back how it sounded. That is one of the best writing techniques I have ever learned.
The cell phone makes it possible to create and share those creations. And I am forever grateful. While I hope that it both inspires creativity and allows for that creativity to be shared, I also hope we all use this wondrous little computer responsibly.
How do you use your mobile phone to create?
Sending you all of my love.