This article prompted some thoughts about this society’s obsession with documenting everything. The article starts rather nicely with
“When I was a boy—I can remember how my Mother would spend a good part of her Sundays. She would take out her phonebook—a tattered collection of names and numbers written in handwriting you could barely read, and re-connect with her personal network—an intimate collection a family and friends. She didn’t create media other than the pictures she took or the video my father shot on his 8mm video camera. ”
Somehow this sounds way more soothing and relaxing than what we’re living now. With these “lifestreams” we’re creating, these social networks, having friends see every corner of our conscious and subconscious existence, pictures, statuses, pokes, twitters, games, applications, we’re also creating an unprecedented set of expectations. “I should post more often on Flickr before I drop off the map” was something I heard recently. These things are starting to sound like work.
Being dedicated at doing something used to be for workaholics. In the meantime we’ve all turned into sociaholics. Progress in society meant we would one day have more time to ourselves:the illiusion of the Homo ludens. But as the NYTimes was quick to point out, we are enjoying less and less free time. So we’ve turned fun into work and are desperate to have fun at work.
There used to be a trend in interaction design of thinking aboutslow technology and creating relaxing experiences for people to have, like slow food, slow travel. But technology by definition has never been slow. Interacting with technology isn’t a slow activity. It’s about being efficient, getting things done, so that you can… hmm… post pictures up on Flickr.
So I have to wonder,will we collectively keep going or will the height of this bubble be a collective “stop”, a global yearning for a technology-lighter existence. Will this be the push towards AI where we literally have nothing to do, no button to push, tranquil in the knowledge that everything is already being captured, edited, published, without us having to lift a finger. Will we actually ever live a moment without having to absolutely, irrevocably, reach down in our pocket for our phone camera and push that button?
Or maybe we were never meant to be totally ludens in the first place.