There was no crying in Whoville on Christmas morning even though the Grinch had taken their trains, candy canes, trees, lights, who-pudding and the entire feast – down to the last can of Who-hash! Despite the loss of all the trimmings of Christmas, they still stood and sang…joyfully.
Might have been different if they had lost their internet connection, and their hashtags along with it.
The people of Whoville were happy without the frills and garnishes because they still had that which was the foundation of their society: the ability to connect with their fellow beings. In that tiny village at the base of Mount Crumpit, they were literally within arm’s reach of their entire society.
Saying that the Whovians might have been “boo-whooing” if they’d lost their internet connection or if their server crashed sounds like a candidate for a #FirstWorldProblem.
Technology has changed everything for us and yet we haven’t changed at all. Human beings still need to connect with each other. Like the Whovians, the sense of wellbeing we get from other people is vital to our physical and psychological health.
Technology – the internet, cell phones, email, etc. – is a critical channel for communication. We belong to communities that are no longer limited to the distance we can walk in a day. Our “neighborhood” reaches around the world. We may depend on people we’ve never met face to face.
It’s no wonder that the prospect of losing our connection (Wi-Fi or otherwise) makes people panic. It would be like taking each Whovian and isolating them in a remote location. All the Who-hash in the world wouldn’t make that lonely, antenna’ed little creature feel good if they couldn’t connect with each other.
It’s all about connecting. And in the first world, that means technology.
I’m fascinated by technology. I’m constantly looking for ways to leverage it to make my life (and yours!) better. Everyone on my team is a technophile, always ready to embrace change and try something new.
People who hate computers (in general – not the specific loathing that Network Administrators and System Engineers can develop for certain pieces of hardware) are like the Grinch!
All they see are the outer trappings of user interfaces, app downloads and constant twittering, like the Grinch only saw the decorations and food as the meaning of all of it. And the language used to work on computers (“Click here! Connect this! Discomfobulate that!”) must sound like the twangling, tweetling noise that made the Grinch crazy because he didn’t understand the meaning.
He didn’t see what it was really all about (connecting with each other) until the very end. “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “perhaps…means a little bit more.”
And then something amazing happened. The Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day.
That is the intention that I have for the “Technology Grinches” of the world. Each Christmas I send out a sincere holiday wish that those who find computers and the proliferation of technology into every aspect of society have an amazing experience.
They’ll see beyond the wires and electrons and instead look through all that to see that technology is all about connecting us together. It’s bringing that which is far, near. It makes that which is exotic or unknown, familiar.
Technology increases our capacity for connection, for understanding and for memory. It gives us more reach, more comprehension, more vision. In the I.T. business world’s version of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” it wasn’t the Grinch’s heart that was two sizes too small, it was his hard drive.
Maybe computers and technology really isn’t about electrons and wires. Maybe technology…perhaps…means a little bit more.