The Rapid Rise of Technology and The Public Forum

Posted By Brie Austin In Category: In Search Of , Insights , Opinion

The rapid rise of technology is claimed by some to be inhibiting human interaction. Others claim that it contributes to the public journal and the broadcasting of it. What do you think, can both sides be correct?

In the spring of 2011 I was again living in New York City, on 49th Street at 2nd Ave. One Sunday I enjoyed a perfect moment, on a perfect day: the sun was bright, the temperature comfortable, and breeze soothing. I was having a solo brunch at an outside table at Lasagna, the Italian restaurant on the corner of 2nd Ave. at 50th street.

It was a relaxing moment, blissful even. Suddenly I got the impulse to capture a photo.

Einstein says Was my motivation to share the moment? Or was it an opportunity to fulfill a socially conditional need to share content as a way of remaining relevant in the eyes of friends, and oneself?

In the past decade we see people more and more tweeting — and posting to facebook, Google Plus, Instagram and so many other social media platforms that I can’t list them all here — everything they see and do. They take photos of food they eat, make comments about everything! — from bitching about long lines at the supermarket to sharing jokes –, spreading insights and sharing it all with friends and strangers alike.

Just about everything we do in our daily lives, through the rapid rise of technology, is being converted into content for the ever-growing public journal.

Is this a good thing or a debilitating one?

In Rolf Potts Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel (which I reviewed and highly recommend) he notes that “Any salty Vagabonder can tell you that true adventure is not an experience that can be captured on television or sold like a commodity.”

Does this suggest that by spending more time focused on capturing the moment — rather than experiencing it — that we’re devaluing the true sense of it; hat we’ve become actors in our own formatted reality show?

Spyre party bangalore India Certainly when we stop to shoot photos or text or tweet something, we’re focused on that something if only for a few fleeting moments. Are we experiencing that moment with more attention than if we had just strolled by without an eye to capture things to share? Or can the argument be made that by always keeping an eye out for content to capture, that be often miss non-content that nevertheless could (or would’ve) provide an exquisite personal experience — not to be shared, but bathed in, alone.

At a party, however, a spontaneous photo shoot actually becomes a moment of impromptu fun and interaction in of itself.

So Perhaps the debate shouldn’t be framed around whether or not the rapid rise of technology and the public forum of social media inhibits human interaction.

It might be more productive to focus on how and when technology can best be used to enhance life, rather than distract it.

 

 

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About Brie Austin

Co-author of I'd Do It Again, he is a columnist/reporter for a variety of magazines in the areas of music, lifestyle, nightlife, travel and business. He also writes business documents and creates copy for websites.

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