Watch Abha Dawesar's TEDTalk above, called Life in the 'Digital Now.'
I just LOVE this TED talk you found, Kelly. I tend to live in the digital past, I think. Let's take my blog for example, which I largely use to review books or to share my ideas on education. I'm constantly thinking "oh this would be a good blog post" or I'm beating myself up because I haven't blogged lately. That constant pressure I'm putting on myself to share and share and share is, at times, exhausting. I think part of this is because the role I play requires a lot of self-advocacy.
When I'm in the present, I try not to reach for my camera to capture moments unless it turns into a photo shoot. I do take picture of an awesome meal, or my family all together, but I'm not nature at image -collecting, but my husband is. Whenever people see our family pictures, they notice that someone is missing....the photographer. We often walk way ahead of him while he has fixated his camera on an insect or a flower. I'm better with words and I tend to Twitter, especially as a backchannel at a conference or PD session.
I think it's important, as Abha says, to slow down and to make intentional and conscious decisions when to capture a moment, or to preserve the past.
Hi Alanna, I was smiling as I read your post. I do not try to capture moments as they happen and sometimes regret it as the memory is just in my mind but not recorded, if you know what I mean. I compare this to one of my daughters who very naturally and seamlessly captures moments throughout her day on her iPhone.Two very different approaches to experiencing life.
Thanks for your response Alanna. The fear/worry that you have with your blog, I experience this with Twitter. I sometimes feel that if I am not on twitter at least a few times a day....okay maybe more...that I will miss out on important happenings or news. If I feel like this, imagine how our children feel? Are we all becoming addicts to technology?
When I think about the past and present in the virtual self, I think about my Google assistant. Because everything I do is connected to Google (photos, documents, contacts), Google assistant has a deep analysis of my virtual self. With that, Google Assistant will push "Rediscover This Day", reminding me of Abha's quote "Time doesn't flow the same in the digital world". Rediscover This Day is a function where Google Assistant compiles photos from today's date, several years ago. For instance it was my dog's birthday a couple days ago, and it compiled birthday pictures from 6 years ago. However my dog passed away last year, so this notification turned into a 2 hour detour from current reality. It's a quick and easy escape into the past, where depending on the content, you get lost in it. It's why after a break-up teenagers go on a rampage of deleting everything digital; you can't erase the memory but maybe deleting data will assist with it because we have less access.
We take photos because we tend to not trust our own memories, and want a permanent fixture outside our mental image. Rediscover This Day often has me looking back, rather than looking forward. The digital now can be overbearing; it's information overload. It can get you lost, and even make your emotions go on a detour. Handling the past and present by the virtual self in the digital now is difficult; we have become addicted to being current, staying up to date and staying relevant. It's why I have turned to unplugging and going relatively disconnected when I go home. Forcing yourself back into reality, to live in the now, rather than that need to live in the now by documenting it through Snapchat, Instagram and more. It's hard, a good puzzle helps.
That was a long tangent, but as a another sidenote, this TedTalk reminded me of a quote from Vonnegut from the book Slaughterhouse-Five, talking about the human nature of looking back and staying obsessed with it. The entire premise of the book was to live in the now:
" But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she turned into a pillar of salt. So it goes. People aren't supposed to look back. I'm certainly not going to do it anymore"
I just have too much to say about all this
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