Signal v. Noise, a publication about the web
I forgot my phone.
Just barely, slightly, exaggerated.
I was at Disney World this summer with my daughter watching one of the parades. We might have been the only two people of thousands not holding a phone or tablet up. There must have been others but I looked around and couldn’t see anyone else. And who watches this banal footage later? Why joy could it possibly bring vs. being present in the moment?
I went on a weekend golf trip recently with 7 friends. Little did we know that the place we were going to was so far out in the boonies there was no cell phone coverage at all. No email, checking in with the office, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Somehow we managed to have one of the best times (probably) all of us have had in awhile.
Reminds me of a Louis CK bit on such things:
Thanks for sharing your stories, guys.
When the landscape of your awareness comes from a screen, you’re an observer, watching life go by frame by frame. By ditching the screen and lens, you’re in contact with it all. You are: present, in the scene, participating — not just watching it anymore.
Well, yes, you’re an observer. Sometimes also you’re a performer. Taking photos and video tends less and less to be about having a touchstone of an amazing memory and more and more to be about having content to post. Maybe this was always the case, but I don’t think so—at least when people broke out their slide shows you usually had enough warning and a nice way to opt out.
This is a widening paradigm though in entertainment, news and elsewhere—record, document and perform are stressed and to some degree the analysis and understanding, the emotional hairs-on-your-arm experiential elements, the intangible out-of-frame and ephemeral elements are lost. In their place we have more recordings, witty wall comments, and tired arms.
It’s an interesting counterpoint to the latest Apple ads.
This is exactly the reason I gave up my cell phone almost 5 years ago, and never looked back. Now I might be the only web developer on the planet without a phone or a facebook account!
Now this is funny: We attended a kid’s birthday party yesterday and it was only the various grandparents who recorded the event with their Androids, Windows Phones and iPhones, taking pictures and shooting video throughout. All of the children’s parents, including ourselves, were not. What a weird change of pace that was. Kinda nice, actually.
I find this type of commentary has become really boring to me, if people want to be immersed in their gadgets and technology then i’m fine with it.
Basically saying ‘get your face out of your phone, thats not how to live life, live your life the way i live it’ is just unbelievably hypocritical, and even more so when your creating a video or commenting on a blog like its ok to use technology for a and b, but definitely not c, because thats really sad if you do c
Sean, you’re missing the point. It’s not about A being better than B or viceversa, it’s simply about the fact that people are missing out on all kinds of experiences by (in my opinion and that of many others) mis-using technology.
Everybody is ‘fine’ with people doing this, the purpose of Travis’s video is not to condemn those who do but to make you reflect about what people are missing.
It doesn’t matter what kind of content it is: spamming instagram/flicker photos, facebook, wordpress or twitter posts (to name but a few), it’s the action of doing so as a mindless habit without much thought or purpose that becomes a problem.
Think of the following, imagine you’re on vacation: what is your priority? enjoying the vacation with your girlfriend or family or friends (or whoever you happen to be with) or recording everything to let other people back home know what you’re doing? What is more important and why?
No one is saying that recording some video, photos or writing about your vacation is bad, the key point here is that when doing this takes a higher priority over the original action itself, you defeat the original purpose of going on vacation. You disconnect yourself from the experience, miss out on all the subtleties and what not. And for what? so people can look at it for 5 seconds and maybe post something back?
It can be:
A shitty party where everyone is on the phone showing other people they’re in a party instead of 1) talking to people present in the party so that 2) they can actually share something of value via their phones and not the other way around.
A trip, a birthday, a comedy show, you name it. When you’ve lost attention of the primary event itself and shifted your focus to the ‘recording’ or ‘sharing’ of it, I believe, you’ve deprived yourself of the fullness of said experience.
I personally agree with this point of view and do not use a cellphone despite being a full time web developer. All around me I see the same thing, people missing out on experiences because they are constantly distracted.
Whether you care or not is an entirely different thing. No one is laying down any judgement, no need to get all defensive. I would rather be more interested in hearing your actual why’s behind your current opinion.
art, literature, math, tech.
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