The app that made me feel old.
This is it, I must be the “old generation” now. I knew this day will come, in which I’ll have trouble understanding a smartphone app.
Just found out yesterday about Periscope. Currently property of Twitter, it’s a social media app that allows you to show live video to the world. Why?
Why people would like to broadcast their life to everybody else on the planet? (well, on planet periscope at least).
Founders of the app compare it to teleportation, because you “live” what you see in your screen, which could be a ride on a hot air ballon or a walk along the Chinese wall. But for me, it feels more like a TV channel full of unedited reality shows.
You’ll see, not everybody has an everyday life full of magnificent landscapes and awesome traveling. I scrolled down some “windows” into other’s life (which felt like The Truman Show or Being John Malkovich), and I saw people dancing a Mariah Carey song, a woman eating chicken and feeding her dog the same, another one petting her cat, a bunch of others just hanging around their living rooms, and a father and daughter that had just came back from the hospital, after chemo, because they both have brain cancer (terribly sad and real).
So no sunsets or breath taking landscapes, just regular people living their boring and sad life, like everyone else.
However, I can’t say I didn’t fall into the periscope magic, I even broadcasted Nina walking around the house (mea culpa), but later I deleted it. I realized I needed more time to understand the implications of what I just had done.
Like, what about privacy? Not the “only to my contacts” privacy but the “moments of my private boring life that I don’t need to share”. I guess that kind of privacy is overrated now, huh?
I started wondering how the future would be like if this sense of privacy I’m trying to stick to is gone. Would everybody be a reality periscope star? Furthermore, is people going to “live” their life through a screen?. What about enjoying the moment?.
I guess the “social media behavior” revolution has started. Proof of it on this photo that recently went viral, about a man in a boat that missed the huge whale passing by his side because his eyes where on the smartphone. How many moments are we gonna loose for looking down to the screen?
So, I’m gonna stop now because I still have a life to live, but first a call to all those social and behavioral scientists: throw away your surveys and studies and just go and open a Periscope account. If you think you know about human social behavior, think twice, technology is changing that now.