E. Winter Tashlin

Remembering the Little Picture [Picture Tells A Story]

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | February 01, 2014 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: burnout, global community, interconnectedness, internet, PTAS, snowflake, the big picture, the little picture

the_little_picture_PTAS.jpg

The internet is the most recent in a series of technological innovations (going back to the telegraph and the semaphore tower before it) that have worked to bring our far flung world into a smaller and yet, more intense place.

The wonder of the internet is that it can bring people together to share their experiences, triumphs, and defeats across the vastness of our planet, binding at least those of us privileged enough to have access to it, into one global community.

One price of we pay for that connectivity though, is that being part of a global community can be utterly overwhelming sometimes.

I live a large percentage of my life online. I telecommute for work, connect with people through social media, have entertainment such as TV, movies and books delivered to my computer or phone or Kindle, and use the web to stay abreast of events in the world. The problem is that my primate brain sometimes can't cope with the immensity of the web and I can get swept away in its turbulent waters.

There have definitely been times that my productivity and even mental health have suffered because of it. One of the reasons I stopped writing the "What You Need To Know" feature for Bilerico was because wading through the ugliness of anti-LGBT extremists at home and abroad every few days, not to mention the other trials and occasional joys of our community, left me emotionally wrung out. I used to berate myself for not having better barriers, and while I admire people like Jeremy Hooper from "Good As You" who devote their lives to shining a cleansing light into some very dark places, I couldn't do it for long.

At least twice a year I take an unconnected sabbatical to refresh myself and connect to the world in a way that doesn't involve glowing screens and Wi-Fi networks. But I'm also working to build better mental and behavioral patterns for my daily life. Part of that process is stepping back from the vastness of the connected world to be mindful of the physical and immediate world I also inhabit.

That's what I love about this photograph. The perfect snowflake is a fragile and lovely thing that gets lost in the immensity of the snowstorm if you don't take time to look for it. A potent reminder as I go about my connected life.


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