iPad or Eyepad

Is technology preventing today’s society from living “in the moment”?

Athens, London, New York, Paris, and many other places hold the distinction of being a classic tourist city. That means many people go there just to visit. And yet, when they do visit, what is the first thing that they pull out? Their cell phone. Not to check Facebook or Twitter, but to take a picture. And yet, the picture is right there in front of them. Have we lost the ability to live in-the-moment? Take for example, this picture:

It’s innocent enough, but it shows what the user is focusing on, that being the screen and not the surroundings. In “The Circle”, the concept of a SeeChange camera is unveiled. This camera would allow people to

“See everything.Always”(p.69).

If this is the case, then people don’t have to even leave their house to travel to some distant place. Just load that camera and you’re there! But it’s not good for society. Think of the things that happen when you visit somewhere. Maybe you meet a local, find a good bar, see a cute girl, whatever it is. That would be gone.

“ It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity”. -Albert Einstein

While Einstein was a few decades ago, this still rings true. The humanity of taking a trip somewhere is gone. All you do is take pictures and complain about the long plane ride. Then you complain about how expensive the airfare was and how you can’t wait to upload all of your new photos that you just took onto Facebook. Where is the humanity in that? It’s selfish. Humans need humans.

“Far beyond, she could see where the mouth of the bay led to the ocean…” (Eggers 83).

The photo above appears to have water in it, but unlike the quote, the opening to it is not visible. Perhaps because there is no opening, or because the user doesn't want to see the opening. An opening implies something new, unknown, possibly dangerous. However, the user does not see an opening. They are content where they are. This can be a problem.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”-Walt Disney.

We've all heard the classic adage “one door shut opens another door” and it’s true. But what happens when the user doesn't want the door to open?What if they simply look away? This is what is happening in the above photo. The user is focusing on the enclosed portion of the bay. They are content where they are, and that is fine. But what if technology is causing us to always be content? How will we ever evolve if there is no wish to evolve?

“The sunrise this morning, it was so good…The water will be soaked in gold, then in platinum.”(Eggers 144)

I’ll be the first person to admit that I love sunsets. The deep reds, the vibrant oranges, and the long shadows being cast. The thing with sunsets, though, is each one is unique. Whether it is where you are or what the weather is, if it is off by just a hair, it’s different. So why waste the opportunity taking a photo, just so you can look at it later? Look at it now! the sunset in front of you. The quote is referring to how the sun does amazing things an is truly beautiful and for once people appreciate it and don’t take photos.

“The biggest cliche in photography is sunrise and sunset.”-Catherine Opie.

This could not be more true. Google “sunset” and there is a never ending stream of red, orange, and yellow pictures all depicting one thing-the sun. Instead of taking pictures of the sunset, just Google it. There is bound to be a picture that is as good, if not better, than yours. So enjoy that sunset and don’t worry about the photo.

First off, this dude is an a**hole. Not only is he recording a potentially copyrighted piece, he’s blocking people’s views. And what more, he is focusing only on the iPad. He isn't focusing on the band(I’m assuming this is a concert, but I could be wrong)and therefore, why even be there? In “The Circle”, there are occasional assemblies. Ironically enough, nobody records it, or at least not amateurly. They would much rather pay attention to the speaker, rather than listen later. The dysfunctional society is actually better than the seemingly-functional society.

Elvis Presley once said

“ A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage. It’s my favorite part of the business, live concerts.”

If everybody in the concert venue is focused on their video recordings, how can they give energy to the performer. Performers don’t just show up for the hell of it. Some don’t even do it for the money. They do it because they love live concerts.

Another thing to think about is why even have live concerts? You go to one, record it, and boom. You have a live recording.Howvever, a live recording is an oxymoron. If it’s a recording, it can’t be live and if it’s live it can’t be recorded.The reason to go to another live concert is because they are each different. Even seeing the same show 500 times, something will be off in each one, if just by a hair.

This picture shows another problem with technology that we encounter. In the background are some people, presumably friends, having fun and the guy holding the iPod doesn't care about them. He would rather look at the motorcycle on his iPod. If he was taking a video of a friend doing a cool trick, fine. But he is looking at pictures of stuff that isn't relevant.

“The point is that you’re not engaged with the people around you!” (Eggers 188).

This picture shows exactly that. The user doesn't care for the others, only for his technology.

“I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”-Albert Einstein.

Technology is taking the place of interaction. The other people are literally right there. Why not talk to them? Because the user doesn't want too, that’s why! but even still it can be assumed that the three people in the picture are friends and there for a reason. It’s the same as being on your phone during a class or a meeting. Technology will still be there when you get out.

Anybody who has gone to a concert or show knows this policy. There is even a reminder before the show starts. This goes back to the concert picture. The user pays money to see this show, and that is the main source of income for the show. Every show is an art, regardless of what it actually is. People need to appreciate the real world as it happens.

“Did you post anything anywhere about this episode? A zing, a comment anywhere?” (Eggers 184)

This quote is from when Mae has a sexual adventure with Francis. Afterward, she finds out that Francis had recorded their experience. Just like with a concert, the recorded experience is nothing like the original “live” performance. By making a recording, Francis has degraded the experience because he can go back to watch it. This works the same way as porn videos. Almost every guy, although they won’t admit it, has watched porn and tried to learn a few tricks through it. But it doesn’t work that way. Yes, you can learn some very basic things, but the true act of love-making is in being there with your significant other. At a concert, the music comes alive for the audience. Watching a concert after it is recorded takes away the vibe that comes from the performance.

In some of the greatest recordings ever made, the performance is a part of the recording. Dylan’s ‘Rainy Day Women No. 12 and 35’ is all about the esthetic of that performance. You can hear the room.-Moby

Moby is a professional DJ who deals with live performances all the time. He perfectly captures the essence of live performance. When the performance is recorded, it takes away from the show.

Why, then, do we do all of this? Why do we take pictures of cities and sunsets? Why do we record live performances? Why do we ignore others to use our technology? Because that’s the way it is. Life has evolved in just a way that this is how we live, populating the internet with millions of photos of the same thing. Have we lost something because of this? Absolutely. We need to remember what it is that humans need-humans. Using technology and taking a picture is fine. But when you start to take a lot of pictures and neglecting others in favor of technology, then you have a problem.

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