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BBC asks: Are smartphones killing memories? Comment on this post ↓
June 21st, 2013 by Warren Swil

Trend may result in

missing real experiences

A smart phone blocks somebody’s view of an actual experience. Instead they see it on a 3 inch screen.

EVERYONE NOW HAS ONE … or so it seems. Smartphones are becoming ubiquitous.
Today the BBC focuses on this trend and brings light to something blogged about on In the (K)now on May 2.
In “Are smartphones killing memories?
Newsnight’s Stephen Smith reports:
“Is there a danger we’re missing out on something [by constantly using our smartphones]?
“We are failing to live in the moment … not keeping it real.”
In the text accompanying the video we read:
“The habit of taking photographs, usually with our phones, of anything and everything is everywhere – instead of enjoying things or engaging in them, there is a growing habit just of photographing them.”

You shooting me shooting you: most recent occurrence, June 18. © SGE, Inc. All rights reserved.

I FIRST HAD THIS DISCUSSION with close friends while visiting Guadalajara, Mexico in late April. Over a three day period, I snapped almost 500 images. Some of them have been published on In the (K)now.
Was that too many pictures?
One of my companions, Ray, pointed out that each time I snapped a picture I was not “in the now.” I was in the future.
In other words, I was missing out on the experience.
The following week, after my return to Los Angeles, something related but not identical occurred.
Four times in the space of as many days I found myself being photographed while I was photographing the photographer.
I blogged about it May 2 in “Shooting you shooting me
For almost the entire month of May, this story was on the top reads list on this blog.
Want to know why?
It is happening to almost everyone. It has happened to me dozens of

You shooting me shooting you: CSW Gay Pride Parade, June 9. © SGE, Inc. All rights reserved.

times since then.

THE IMAGERY in the BBC video report is remarkable in that it shows virtually everybody with a smart phone – and using it!
But then reporter Smith raises a most important point:
“Is anyone actually looking?” he asks.
“If they spend the moment taking pictures, what is it exactly that they will remember?”
This is further elaborated in the text:
“It is as if first hand events are not real unless we have a photo, and can experience them second hand.
“When, for example, the Queen recently opened the BBC’s Broadcasting House, she could hardly be seen for all the people holding up their phones.”
I’m not sure I know the answer to Smith’s question, or whether anybody does yet.
But perhaps now you, readers, are beginning to understand better the name of this blog: “In the (K)now” can also be read “In the now.”
More recently, June 16, I wrote about a related topic. “Are we losing control of our technology?”

You shooting me shooting you: Sweden, May 30. © SGE, Inc. All rights reserved.

There is ample evidence that the pace of technological change is accelerating geometrically. Is it with in human capability to keep up with it?
This is an important question for many scientific disciplines to ask … and, hopefully, answer.



2 Responses  
  • Sybil Patterson writes:
    August 9th, 2013

    This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about Are smartphones killing memories. Thank you for sharing!

    • Mr Demented writes:
      August 13th, 2013

      Sounds like the phones have killed your memories, Sybil, and perhaps a few other parts of your brain.


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