A New Normal. Wow.

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I ran across this on via Facebook today and it really took me back. The image shows what St. Peter’s Square looked like in 2005 during the last papal elections and what they looked like yesterday with Pope Francis’s announcement.

It’s hard to believe how much live events have changed in just a few short years. The picture perfectly illustrates how human behavior and “interaction” has dramatically changed. There’s definitely a new normal.

Here’s a question: is this healthy?

Over time, we may not even think twice about this image. It does raise the question if we’re so consumed with archiving or sharing our memories that if we miss out on actually experiencing what’s around us?

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong approach. Just something to think about.

Curious to hear your thoughts.

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  • http://twitter.com/ScottieMellis Scottie Ellis

    I had an experience last year that made me think about this very question. I was at my dream concert; Paul McCartney at Yankee Stadium. Like most people in our industry, I am tied to all forms of social media so of course I was live tweeting the entire show. Halfway through the concert I asked myself, “am I really experiencing this to the fullest?” I have to say, the answer was no.

    Am I happy for the photos? Yes, because they have provided me with great memories. Can I honestly say the first half of that concert was all it was cracked up to be? No, and for my fault only. I was looking through a screen, concentrating on sharing with the ‘world’ and lost focus of the amazing atmosphere and performance in front of me.

    In this industry we are constantly trying to engage with the consumers through different channels of media, but what happened to engaging with those around us during great moments in life? When I look back I would rather have a true, personal experience with those surrounding me at the concert than with followers on Twitter.

    This is something I truly believe people should consider. We are lucky to have these moments in our life and sometimes it would be nice to simply sit back and personally take enjoyment from them.

    Thanks for a great, thought provoking post!

    • http://www.brainwads.net/drewhawkins Drew Hawkins

      I thought the picture told a really powerful story. Lifecasting via mobile is a double-edged sword. On one hand, future generations will know a LOT about us. It’s also fun to look back on what we’ve done. Then on the other hand, spending so much time in the future almost makes us live in the past too much. We’re so bent on archiving our lives that we forget to live in the moment.

      Found this quote interesting:

      “Turn off your computer. You’re actually going to have to turn off your phone and discover all that is human around us. Nothing beats holding the hand of your grandchild as he walks his first step.”

      Who said it? Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO.

  • Jim Hawkins

    I’ve noticed that the hospital I work at has computers everywhere. Just 5 years ago, I was a pioneer because I was one of the only few who literally did his paperwork on a computer. Going out to the factories, I was an anomaly.