My good frieind Catherine reblogged this, so of course I had to read it too. Kristian’s experiences in London echo a growing (I hope) sentiment shared that is shared by people like by 32 year old daughter who is raising her 18-month old son in New York City. It is her wish that my grandson is not too overly fascinated by the ubiquitous screen – the “sea of phones.” When she married in 2011, she placed a piece of paper on everyone’s seats, asking them not to use their cell phones during the ceremony. She didn’t want to see the sea of screens in her wedding photos. Can’t say that I blame her. A fan of Jack White, she recounts the absence of hands held in the air, not applauding but recording the event. It is not about copyright. White wants to see his audience faces and see them enjoy the music, instead of capturing the memory on a device. It’s good to challenge why we collectively feel the need to capture every experience and memory with technology.
Look around, we’ve created this dependancy on a technological middle man. A tangible buffer that is translating and filtering our organic perceptions. As much as I love technology, there is reason for concern. Sometimes the best devices are the ones we are born with. I rarely leave home without a camera or an iPhone, but I am trying to use it less, or at least in tandem with my own biological memory. I want to absorb more organically, not record pixels. Ironically, Dutch photographer Reinier Gerritsen published a photos taken of people reading books on the subway – a near extinct cultural practice. I applaud my daughter and Kristian, the author of this piece, for noticing there is an issue. Their wisdom and insight to see with their eyes and remember with thier organic hard drive. Enjoy this post!
Last year I visited London for a few days as I needed to go to the US embassy to pick up my working visa for America. Luckily I have a friend in London who kindly let me stay at her place for a few days. My interview was at 8am in the morning. If you have ever had one of these dreaded embassy interviews before you’ll know that you aren’t allowed to take anything in the building except your passport and documents.
So after my interview ended at about 10am, I was in the middle of London without any technology. No phone, iPod, camera, watch, gameboy, tamagotchi, NOTHING! I was alone with only my thoughts in one of the most exciting cities in the world. I thought I’d make the most of this rare occasion and go exploring for the day.
It felt so liberating! I felt like Neo in
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