How much is life passing us by because of our love affair with screens and devices? Probably more than we want to know, and it’s a question that Google can’t actually answer.
The classic cartoon above, created by Micheal Leunig with great prescience, sums up the situation. And it was published even before iPads and such were a glimmer in Apple’s eye.
Here’s an interesting statistic from this week’s SMH Good Weekend Magazine: On average a US household includes five internet-connected devices (smartphones, tablets, TVs, etc.). Another number crunch – more than 80% of Australian homes are now connected to the internet.
I had my own demonstration of Leunig’s cartoon the other day when a group of friends and I met for drinks and nibbles on our neighbour’s old jetty. It was just past low tide on Scotts Creek, and we were taking in a dazzling sunset. Suddenly I saw a dolphin surface immediately off the pier. As she dived, I dove for my iPhone to grab a photo, and tumbled one leg into a whole in one of the jetty planks.
I watched, horrified, as my phone bounced along the pier right to the very edge. In those moments between dragging myself out of the hole and retrieving my phone, two dolphins swam downstream quietly unobserved.
I felt chagrined about my fall but not really hurt, relieved about my phone, and hopefully a little more prepared to be in direct contact with the spontaneous miracles of the natural world.
Ha! I can relate. The documentation of life via one’s iPhone camera has its good side and its downside. On the one hand, many report that documenting everyday domestic bliss enables us to better appreciate what we’ve got, and rejoice together in this through sharing. The downside you’ve eloquently expressed already.
I find group dinners very trying as people want to document each dish before we’re allowed to touch it! It feels both silly and vain. I’d rather just tuck in!
Another issue, Brook, is when you go looking for a photo of an important event and realise there is not a single one because no one thought to take any. Memory, I can attest, can be inadequate to the occasion.