"I feel we have become so desensitized to our surroundings," Kirschner said. "People walk over broken glass or a coffee cup or a potato chip bag and just keep going. I've reached a point where I'm no longer OK with that."
On average, 100 photos are posted every day. "If 1 million people - which is a failure by social media standards - picked up one piece of trash per day, we could have a huge impact," he said.
To Kathleen Russell, leader of Keep Dimond Clean, an Oakland neighborhood group that picks up 12,000 pounds of litter every year, Litterati is a step in the right direction: "The key that we were missing was the young people, and Litterati does that with social media."
Because the Digital Landfill creates a record of how much litter a user has disposed of, Kirschner imagines that Litterati could be a tangible way for participants to track the impact they've had. It has already changed his family's purchasing habits. The Kirschners buy in bulk, avoid single-use packaging and are planning to bring reusable containers to restaurants for take-out.
"If I were to turn (Litterati) off, 12,000 pieces of litter aren't on the ground, and I know two little kids who will never litter as long as they live," Kirschner said. "If that's the legacy of Litterati, then I'm OK with it. But I think there's an opportunity for it to be much more than that."
Literati.org is on a mission to eradicate litter by crowdsourcing trash pickup, archiving the results in its Digital Landfill, and extracting data to prevent the original littering. As described in the profile in the San Francisco Chronicle, the site is already having a big impact: "The Digital Landfill, now home to more than 12,500 pieces of trash, is crowdsourced cleanup, and because the images are geo-tagged, Kirschner has been able to build a map that shows where each piece of trash was found. This kind of data could not only help raise litter awareness in urban areas but also alert the companies whose products often end up on the ground."
The Ignatian Spirituality blog dotMagis offers five tips for finding God in all things: micro-awareness, journal, do something the "old-fashioned way," listen, and say "God is here."
Stephen Mattson confesses on Sojourners to being a "Hashtag Christian," one who projects an image of being an engaged Christian through social network sites, but doesn't follow through in real life:
Religious Views: Christian — but not in practice.
A retired 82-year-old barber has been offering free haircuts to the homeless at a Connecticut park for the past 25 years. All he asks for is a hug in return. He was originally motivated to start by a church sermon.
The Huffington Post reports:
His clients line up on park benches, some of them also turning out for free meals provided on Wednesdays by a local church. One by one they take a seat in a folding lawn chair above a car battery Cymerys uses to power his clippers.
Laura Miller writes about how God led her to create a movement of 2,000 agents performing anonymous acts of kindness across nine countries. She reports on "missions" at the Secret Agent L blog.
And did I see any of this coming? Not at all. But it has become so very clear to me that this is my calling.
The prospect of death has a way of clarifying our values and priorities. The Guardian reports on the book The Top Five Regrets of Dying, written by Australian nurse Bronnie Ware who gathered reflections from patients in their last twelve years of life.
Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. "When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."
The number one regret: "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."
Today culminates another National Day of Unplugging, sponsored by the Sabbath Manifesto. It encourages people to take a 24 hour break (sunset to sunset) from technology. They also are posting photos of people holding up signs reading their completion of "I unplug to..."
The San Francisco Chronicle/SFGate challenges folks to go a step father, however, and make a more long-term change.
From the National Day of Unplugging site:
Do you have multiple cell phones? Take your ipad to the beach on vacation? Ever find it hard to get through a conversation without posting an update to Facebook? Is your computer always on?
Newsweek reports on new research about how technology and our online activity contributes to loneliness, depression, and compulsive behavior.
"The first good, peer-reviewed research is emerging, and the picture is much gloomier than the trumpet blasts of Web utopians have allowed. The current incarnation of the Internet—portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive—may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic. Our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts, and normal people are breaking down in sad and seemingly new ways."
"People tell her that their phones and laptops are the 'place for hope' in their lives, the 'place where sweetness comes from.' Children describe mothers and fathers unavailable in profound ways, present and yet not there at all. 'Mothers are now breastfeeding and bottle-feeding their babies as they text,' she told the American Psychological Association last summer. 'A mother made tense by text messages is going to be experienced as tense by the child. And that child is vulnerable to interpreting that tension as coming from within the relationship with the mother. This is something that needs to be watched very closely.' She added, 'Technology can make us forget important things we know about life.'"