Sunday Firesides: If You Can Always Be Found, Can You Ever Get Lost?

In a world where everyone has access to technology, it’s hard for people to get lost. But would you want the chance? In this fireside chat, we explore how getting lost can teach us about ourselves and our relationships with others. We also discuss what makes games so compelling when they put players in non-traditional roles like being a tourist on an island rather than a primary protagonist.

“If you can always be found, can you ever get lost?” is a question that has been posed by many. The answer may seem obvious to some, but it’s not so clear cut for others.

I was out hiking in the woods the other day when I felt the pressure of my phone in my pocket, which brought it back into my awareness and triggered the all-too-familiar want to check it.

Even though I rejected the temptation, it made me think about how messages, emails, and phone calls may reach me even out in the woods. And how weird it is to live in a period where you can always be discovered, where you’re never out of contact, out of reach — where you’re never cut off from the flow of information.

I’m old enough to remember a time when this was not the case. You could only receive calls if you were at home or at work. The whole period in between was a blackout. You were elusive, distant, and outside their orbit for many blocks of the day, regardless of whether someone “important” believed they had to contact you.

The ubiquitous nature of communication devices might undoubtedly come in help in an emergency. However, carrying a beacon for the 1% of the time there is a true emergency means being accessible for the other 99 percent of the time.

You counteract the chance of being psychologically lost by lowering the danger of becoming physically lost: lost in thought, lost in discussion, lost in reverie for the world around you. If a dozen additional interloping tentacles can still find you, winding around your wrist, fragmenting your thoughts, you’ll never be able to totally immerse yourself in one area.

Save your phone for work and home; leave it at home when you go; reclaim the in-between areas; and see if you can’t discover a bit more of yourself by being lost more regularly.



The “famous epigrams” are a series of short sayings, which have been around for centuries. They are often used to express an idea or sentiment in a few words. The “Sunday Firesides: If You Can Always Be Found, Can You Ever Get Lost?” is one of the most famous epigrams.

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