Digitalization and Nature - a Symbiosis?

Digitalization and Nature - a Symbiosis?

by Prof. Dr. Anabel Ternès - Social entrepreneur, author, speaker and managing director

The other day I was working with my computer as per usual, and when looking at my clock with sore eyes, I realized that the last 3 hours passed way too fast. “That’s it. I need to rest and find my roots again”, I thought. At that point I simply felt fed up with technology.

Digitalization and technology have been distancing us from nature and our roots for a while now.

Less people are seeing each other face to face, where 93% communication is conveyed through body language. Books are in a kindle, watches can receive telephone calls and our fitness trainer is an application. Foods are packed in plastic wrapping and most people have never raised farm animals or crops for consumption. The connection and appreciation for nature has been deteriorating.

After I had left all technology at the office, I took a walk in the park, enjoyed the sun, listened to the birds and then simply sat down on the green grass. While sitting there I was imagining how it would be to travel 8 minutes through space to earth like the sun rays and was amazed how the woodpeckers special skull kept them from constantly having a concussion.

At that moment I remembered that without technology and the Internet, I would not know the things I do and wouldn’t be the person I am today. I actually have been able to appreciate nature and all its wonders even more through the enormous amounts of information at my fingertips.

The Internet and online encyclopedias can help us increase our knowledge.

Thanks to fast spread information, more people know about the tons of plastics in the ocean, which the Ocean Cleanup foundation is trying to clean up. Digital photos and e-books help save space for more room in the apartment. The Internet and online encyclopedias can help us to increase our knowledge - not only to appreciate our roots but also each other and everything else around us.

Through digitalization, people can save a lot of time by starting free-online courses at home, despite having three kids or a full time job. We are now able to help endangered species more efficiently by tracking deforestation with satellites. Digitalization can help us correct the disadvantages that come with the advances in technology such as spreading awareness on electric cars in Norway. Norway increased sales of electric cars to 17% since July the previous year, in order to decrease usage of gasoline driven cars, greenhouse gas emissions and smog.

There is a balance to everything and if we are able to utilize digitalization in the right way, we can reconnect with nature in a different way. However, sometimes all it takes is to simply turn off everything and take a walk through the forest to appreciate our surroundings.

 

published: 11/11/2016

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