What causes us to miss the moment with technology?

Have you ever been to an event and have noticed multiple people at the event more interested in recording what is going on rather than paying attention to the live moments? This may be a pet peeve to me to some extent. I think it is important to capture a memory, but not all moments need to be captured. An example of a good moment to capture would be recording the first time your child walks. I think this is a moment worth recording. A bad example of recording unnecessarily and missing the moment would be going to an event that will be broadcasted and recording the whole the majority of the show. Many people feel that it is important to use technology in a way that makes it a substitution for their memory. The result is a vague remembrance of what happened. What do we gain by using technology to capture the moment? The answer to this relies on the situation you are in to begin with.

Many people enjoy their technology and have a specific brand that they prefer using to the next. Some times it is the simplicity, durability, aesthetics or just simply the popularity of said product that makes you keep coming back to buy more of it. I think going to an event that will give insight of what is to come is something great to be a part of, however, capturing every moment through you technology is not really needed. Some people may try to justify recording the whole event, but I think that’s what they pay videographers to do at these big events.

Maybe you are at a baseball game enjoying a box of Cracker Jack and the game is tied in the bottom of the ninth inning. The best player of your home team is up to bat and there are two outs and this player is three for three for this game. You get your cell phone out to record this moment. The pitch is thrown and he swings. Strike one. The second pitch is thrown, he swings and the ball is hit high in the air you try to follow the ball, fumbling, but fail to get the shot because it was too fast. Meanwhile the entire stadium is chanting, screaming at the top of their lungs. The player is running with victory at his hand. A home run had just occurred to win the game, but you were to busy trying to get the moment recorded. Flustered and disappointed at yourself with the blurred images that you got from your camera. In the midst of being in the moment, you missed it completely. The genuine exhilaration that this unique moment could have given will never be met. The special moments in life are typically remembered as clear as day and will live with you forever.

Why not live the moment?

Are you like one of these fans in a concert, trying to get an glimpse of a shadow from the artist you paid to see? Or are you one of the people enjoying the ambiance of live music from your favorite artists? Living each moment actually molds the way you are and actually communicates to those people around you. Connecting to people and events is what makes you you. Sherry Turkle affirms “connecting in sips may work for gathering discrete bits of information” and “they don’t really work for learning about each other, for really coming to know and understand each other”(Turkle 8:40). It is imperetive to understand each other because there is going to be that one day you will need to network and the piece of technology you may have used to meet the person will not be able to explain how you met or give you details of a memory you once had to keep an important conversation going.

Many people take for granted what is really around them. Many parents allow their children to be consumed by technology to improvise for their responsibility of spending quality time with their child. Before you realize how much time has passed, they have graduated and are moving out of the house. Conversing helps you “know and understand each other. We use conversations with each other to learn how to have conversations with ourselves”(Turkle 8:45). We need to understand ourselves to understand others and communicate effectively. Sadly many examples of missing special moments are present on a daily basis. We continue to miss the interaction with each other and live around each other like strangers. We can see this image in The Circle when Annie visits her parents after she had just been hired. They are at the dinner table talking and Annie is missing the quality time with her parents. Annie spoke and acted different because of the involved technology, “the look on her parents’ faces was bewilderment. her father blinked slowly. They had no idea what she was talking about”(Eggers 76). Annie and her family had lost the connection they once had in communicating with each other. The intimate relationship they once had was substituted for technology. There are few days that we will probably never forget in our lifetime. Examples of these unforgettable events are graduation, marriage, and the day of a child birth.

Do we really know the person we are marrying or are we more familiar about the iphone that significant other is using? There is a quote that supposedly came from Albert Einstein, but has yet to be proven without a doubt. Einstien proclaims that he fears “the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots”(QuoteInvestigator) and I wholeheartedly agree. Since we are in the early stages of using technology, we should be able to still use it a a luxury vice a common part of our daily life.

I want to encourage people to live their lives. I am not to excluding technology from all aspects of our lives, but enjoy the moment and live the experience. There is an exhilaration and connection when you live a special moment in your life and that moment will last a lifetime. It’s like falling in love. Technology sometimes acts a shield to this pleasure and it is a shame. The following video displays some of the many real moments missed because of technology that are not truly lived and will be a fragment of memory in the future to many.

References:

Eggers, Dave. The Circle. First Vintage Books Edition, May 2014. San Francisco: Random House LLC, 2013.

http://video.ted.com/talk/podcast/2012/None/SherryTurkle_2012-480p.mp4