When You Give a Tree an Email Address

Image Jennifer Morrow / Flickr

Excerpt from this article (and I think this is the first time I’m using the tag “tree” on this blog):

The city of Melbourne assigned trees email addresses so citizens could report problems. Instead, people wrote thousands of love letters to their favorite trees.

It’s a dynamic that is playing out more broadly, too, in concert with a profound shift toward the ubiquity of interactive, cloud-connected technologies. Modern tools for communicating, publishing, and networking aren’t just for connecting to other humans, but end up establishing relationships between people and anthropomorphized non-human objects, too. The experience of chatting with a robot or emailing a tree may be delightful, but it’s not really unusual.

The move toward the Internet of Things only encourages the sense that our objects are not actually just things but acquaintances.