Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dare to Party Like an Old-Timer!

View of Seneca Rocks from Seneca Shadows campground
Technology amazes me. The rise of smart-phones enabled the power of the human fingertip, yet at the same time, disabled human social skills. Yes, we have the online “social network”, but do we have what it takes to put our face where our tweets and status updates are?

Take, for example, the Seneca Rocks Cinco de Mayo party. Seneca Rocks memorializes a bygone era. Not only is it a pristine trad climbing destination without bolted routes, Seneca situates in the middle of a radio quiet zone. No cell service, Internet, Facebook, Twitter, or GPS.

Every year the Gendarme (Seneca’s local climbing shop) hosts a Cinco de Mayo party. The concept may be hard for members of this generation to fully embrace: no cell phone in the pocket to retreat to for fake text messages or Facebook when feeling socially awkward or bored. Those of an older generation remembered times gone by and slipped into the ancient, almost forgotten, rhythm. But the younger folks were there - some adapting to traditional ways with ease... others bewildered with the sudden loss of electronic retreat.

I challenge you: Put the phone down. Look around you. Embrace a world beyond an LCD screen. Watch the birds “twitter”. Put your “face in a book” while soaking up the sunshine. Build your social network with handshakes, hugs, and smiles instead of “Friend Requests”. Discover the joy of strengthening your brain with a map and compass instead of GPS. Spend your time at a campsite, not a website.

Life is short. Dare to live.
Seneca Rocks, W.VA

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