Before the current digital technology, many had to depend on companies like Starbucks and Sephora to create "experiences" for us. We were passive recipients of rituals like the careful making of each latte or the ability to try out shades of lipstick. Now, even with just a smartphone we can frame our own experiences.
On TECH CRUNCH, Jon Evans laments that. He notes, "We stop experiencing things in order to record experiences." The assumption in this statement seems to be that we should consume the pure whatever others dish out. Or maybe I am misunderstanding that.
Evans is not alone in this train of thought. At a Buddhist temple last evening I attended a lecture in which the enlightened one railed against this kind of "recording." Instead of just eating our scone at Starbucks, we take a photo of it or blog about the "mouth feel" (term the food industry uses).
You bet, when I am out there in the world I am shaping experiencing for myself. That's because I have the tools to do that. Instead of consuming what the official news media were dishing out about the impacts of Hurricane Irene, I went to Barnes & Noble. There, where there was WiFi, I blogged about how we who had been unplugged by nature found refuge in a book store. In our new little universe, our major concern became gaining access to the few electrical outlets in the cafe section of the store.
When future generations want to know about Irene, they will not only have the news clips. They will also have how we laypeople experienced the phenomenon. Yes, how we captured it can become part of human history.