Obviously everyone has seen this video. With over 15 million views it has struck a chord with people. We are on our phones too much, and I am not really here to argue that. The thing that bothers me about the video, besides that fact that it over-dramatizes the problem and makes it look like one of those horrible informercials but for an alternate modern life, is that it assumes some of the wrong things about technology and social media.
Let’s break this down into two sections. Part one: Photography. Up until very recently photography was for professionals. It was expensive, confusing and slow. For those who didn’t take up photography as a hobby, the first camera they bought was usually when they had a baby. That meant that 20-somethings were mainly left camera-less. That’s not the case any longer, the iPhone is the most popular camera in the world and since Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr assure almost guaranteed audience the world is falling in love with photography in a way they have not in the past. I spend a lot of my life behind a camera and I don’t feel disconnected or that I am not living the moment, I am just doing my best to capture and respect that moment.
Next assumption I dislike. Social media disconnects us. I met my business partner, my girlfriend and a huge number of my friends in one way or another because of this blog. I put on events, parties and gone on vacations that were all people who met because of social. Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram gives us a place to find “our people”, people who share the same passions, goals and interests. My physical life has been so enriched because of the people I met because of the internet.
I say all of this while also believing that sometimes we do need to put down the phone, turn the camera off and be “there”; I readily admit that. What I won’t do however is sit on the sidelines and hurl spitballs at a medium that made me the person I am. That I won’t do.