I found this incredibly profound, disturbing and exhiliarating article in The Guardian . That, you may suggest, is an awful of adjectives for a brief article. But the writer, Oliver Burkeman, went to Texas to the South by Southwest conference and discovered that the boundary between ‘real life’ and our ‘online’ lives had pretty much disappeared…and his descriptions and examples are really interesting.
In essence, he found that ‘real life’ has this complete overlay of technology. We have GPS in our cars, Bee Tagg readers for scanning codes, apps to tell us what’s on special near us, where the Starbucks are located and when the movie starts. In other words, there is no longer a separation between the cyber and the not.
In the ‘old days’ we went to our computers at a fixed spot, dialed up the Internet and retrieved information. Now the markets find us through facebook, google and our locations monitored in our iPhones and Androids.
Depending on your frame of mind, these are either great new advances or terrifying realizations…or a little bit of both.
I also read that they just ‘discovered’ a tribe in the Amazon. It made me wonder what would happen if you took one of those tribes people, gave them an iPhone – along with some instructions – and set them free in NYC. You could explain to them that this little device tells people where they are and whether they’re having coffee or at a meeting and basically anything they’re doing at any given moment.
The poor Amazonian might suggest that because they can’t see any of this, it must not be true.
Hmmm…so…Perhaps we’re more like that my fictitious city-visiting-jungle-person than we realize.
Maybe there’s a few other levels that remain unseen? Maybe just because we don’t know how to measure or see something, doesn’t mean it’s not there.