Experiencing versus record keeping – it can’t be a new concept.
Are we currently equipped to do both at the same time? Some would argue that continuous recording of life events gets in the way of the experience and prevents you from moving on. It’s not hard to see that when you go to a National Park such as Yellowstone that some people are living their lives through a camera lens.
It’s much easier to see that the recording of an event such as dinner! gets in the way of the experience. Although that non-essential information, aka, a picture of food is shared, the obvious question is why is that so important and doesn’t it piss off your friends or family at the table?
Nick Carr attacks the issue rather directly in the post Disposable Experience: A Celebration. Ironically, using an image that vividly recalls my childhood (Speed Racer), Nick also attacks the social networks as being financially motivated to steal our experiences, or rather to get us to be too concerned with record keeping that we fail to experience anything.
This arguably leads to the psychoses of Facebook.
I’d love to debate every point in Nick’s post, but damn – I agree with most of what he says.
If one looked superficially at the history of recording, you might stumble on the monks. The cloistered monks separated themselves from civilization and began recording history. These records are vital to civilization. The monks also ran the hospitals and the educational institution guaranteeing a steady flow of information and the seeding of knowledge to others in those times.
Recording and experiencing although separate were intertwined.
(Tower falls, Yellowstone)
In the 1950s, the medium was the message. Today, the message is the medium. What we write, post, share creates the tools and technology that allows us to do more of it. We are the content. That’s a difference.
@jobsworth studies this well here.
Clearly, some people live their lives through a lens. They are more interested in taking a second of life and calling it reality, which in turn feeds more like behavior.
But the tools that Nick rails against are accelerators of something that has always existed. You can do it faster, so you can experience more, even if it is in the simalacrum of today.
More importantly, and antithetical to Nick’s point, there has been a shift in the media, the sharing, the availability of tools, the network, and the engagement necessary to drive toward what we’ve been missing for 20 years (shared experiences).
The media is now us.
The sharing is now ubiquitous and easy.
The network is always on.
The engagement finally exists.
It’s a massive shift.
(The Ninja says Do Not Go Farther Along This Path)
We all need disposable experiences to move forward. Continuous record keeping or the recording of information just because you can gets in the way.
“Sorry, nobody’s ever seen him and they don’t know his name or where he’s from.” – Speed Racer, Challenge of the Masked Racer
For now, I’m experiencing, I’m sharing, and engaging. From one of the most beautiful places in the world.