Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The social pathologies generated by connectivity and internet echo-chambers.

I have to pass on two zinger's from today's paper, a nice piece by Bruni, written during a Shanghai stay, on the ease of keeping your personal world cocoon intact through your iPad and ignoring the real world around you. And second, an article by Bilton on how many moments of our lives we are not really present because we are looking at a smartphone. Brief clips:
...Every experience is being mediated and conceived around how it can be captured and augmented by our devices...No place is this more apparent than our meals, where every portion leading up to, during and after a dining experience is being carved out by particular apps...People make dinner reservations on OpenTable; check in on Foursquare when they arrive at the restaurant; take a picture of their food to share on Instagram; post on Twitter a joke they hear during the meal; review the restaurant on Yelp; then, finally, coordinate a ride home using Uber.
The article also points to a sobering video that has gone viral (18 million viewing as I write this). I have embedded it here:

Maybe the situation isn't hopeless, because the iPhone is only really six years old, and Bilton cites a hopeful precedent:
In the late 1950s, televisions started to move into the kitchen from the living room, often wheeled up to the dinner table to join the family for supper. And then, TV at the dinner table suddenly became bad manners. Back to the living room the TV went.

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