I’d rather live in the instant than ‘gram the instant

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This was just that good. Leading me to share more than a few excerpts from Walter Kirn‘s excellent essay titled: Remembrance of Things Lost:

What if Marcel Proust had kept an Instagram account? What if he’d used a smartphone to snap a photo of every evocative morsel he’d ever eaten? Would he still have written “In Search of Lost Time”…

…When I try to recall my childhood…I don’t have recourse to an exhaustive catalog of images and documents. My parents never shot home movies and they took family photos only rarely, on ceremonial occasions when everyone was compelled to smile tautly and mask what was really going on inside them. As a consequence, revisiting my youth can feel rather like a homicide investigation. Working from clues and the accounts of witnesses, including the highly unreliable one who lives behind my eyeballs, I wait for scenarios to form and patterns to emerge. If they seem plausible I delve into them further, especially if the images align with the murky emotions they conjure up. I tend not to question the resulting mental scenes despite being well aware that photographs and secondhand stories have been shown to create false memories. Clear or hazy, bright or dim, my recollections are private, mine alone, and written in synaptic smoke, not subject to verification by instant replay.

…What makes memories precious, even certain “bad” ones, is forgetting, of course. Remember forgetting? …Memory is an imaginative act; first we imagine what we’ll want to keep and then we fashion stories from what we’ve kept. Memories don’t just happen, they are built…the human mind is not a hard drive, a neutral repository of information. The melancholy passage of the years tends to change our values as we age, and the awesome backflips of 13 don’t hold the magic they once did; not when compared to the image of a loved one who has since gone absent, say. If I’d had a smartphone with a video camera back in my early adolescence, I doubt that I would have trained it on the things that matter to me now, like the sight of my mother reading in her blue armchair, underlining passages from Proust.

…One reason that I’ve never kept a journal is that the attention that goes into keeping one is, I feel, more profitably spent on engaging with the moment. I’d rather live in the instant than ‘gram the instant.

A remembrance never formed is worse, far worse, than a remembrance lost. At 52, increasingly forgetful, I sometimes rack my brain for past experiences that I’m positive are in there somewhere and draw a blank. It’s frustrating, but the blank still marks a spot — a spot where a memory used to be and might, if I eat the right cake, reappear. What makes memory magical is its imperfections and its unpredictability; try as we might, we never quite control it. It draws our attention to the margins of stories that once seemed to be the main events. Someday, when my son reviews his footage, what will come back to him may not be his ski stunts but other aspects of that winter day: the voices of his friends, the shadows on the mountain, the face of his father beside him in the car.

Don’t miss Walter Kirn’s entire essay @ Remembrance of Things Lost:


Image: NY Times Magazine.  A 2011 installation of printouts of photos that had been uploaded to Flickr over a 24-hour period.Credit “24 HRS in Photos,” by Erik Kessels at Foam in Amsterdam, KesselsKramer

Pure poison.

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Mark Morford, Optimize your way to a miserable life!

…Do not misunderstand. Goals are great. Achievements can feel wonderful. Fitness trackers can motivate you to stay healthy and workout more. Lists, efficiency, hard work – all lovely and powerful and, done correctly and with an open heart, laughter and good bourbon, fine playthings indeed.

But when they rule your world? When you can’t feel anything, connect to fellow humans, love or cry or enjoy your goddamn drink for a second because you got too much to do, places to go, scores to settle, appointments to keep, apps to download? When they replace intention, touch, a deep and connected pause?

Pure poison. The Void simply cannot be filled from the outside. Which is not to say that new, all-steel Apple Watch isn’t sort of gorgeous. Why not play with it? Enjoy it? And then laugh at its adorable attempts to tell you about something about the meaning of walking?

Be sure to read Morford’s entire post here: Optimize your way to a miserable life!


Image: Apple Watch at Apple.com

Truth

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Source: ldraghic

 

And, it was quiet

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Excerpts from Paul Jarvis’ commentary titled Why You Should Take A Social Media Sabbatical:

One of my clients told me that social media sabbaticals are the new treks through Nepal. Taking a social media sabbatical is trendy, takes some courage, and for most westerners, it’s outside the realm of possibility. But (thankfully for me), it doesn’t require as much physical fitness as a hiking the Himalayas…

When all the small gaps in our days are filled with refreshing or sharing, there’s no room left to just sit and breathe and let whatever thoughts that want to happen… just happen. There are more ideas—not fewer—when you remove noise…

There is no longer space in our lives. We can’t wait in line without getting on our phones. Or sit on a bus. Or eat. Or wake up. Or wait for an elevator. Or watch a sunset…

Extra, dangling seconds force most of us to reach for our pockets and pull out our tiny computers that connect to the Internet. We must scroll and react to whatever shows up on our screen, as if by some neurological impulse.

I’ve spent the last two months on a break from social. No tweets, no instas—nothing. I went an extra step and stopped sending newsletters or doing interviews, as well…

I went from a few hours a day on social to none.

And it was quiet.

Almost eerily quiet.


Photo: Sight-Management

Humility is scarce and mediocrity flows from every direction

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Q: Do you still not own a cellphone?

Herzog: I’m the only thinking person I know without one. I don’t want to be available at all times. Permanent connectivity isn’t my thing; I have always needed moments of quiet solitude for myself. There’s a Chinese poem from the Tang dynasty about someone describing a boat journey along the Yellow River and leaving his friend behind, a monk on a mountain, in the knowledge that they probably won’t see each other or have any contact for years. This man’s return, decades later, has an indescribable substance and depth. Compare this to standing in line at the airport, chatting on your cellphone to your loved one, who is waiting in the car park. There is too much shallow contact in our lives. I prefer to be face to face; I want the person I’m communicating with to be so close I can put my hand on their shoulder. Text messaging is the bastard child handed to us by the absence of reading.

Q: You use the Internet. [Read more…]

This Holiday: Give Presence


Thank you Rachel

My mouth waters in anticipation of summer peaches

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…I’ve noticed about myself recently that I stare out the window and daydream when I’m desperate. The unrelenting beam of information aimed at me via the computer screen too often occupies my eyes. The mind silts up with details, images, pleas for help, advertisements, and thousands of worthy campaigns for social change. “Life shouldn’t be this hard,” I think. Eventually, nothing can float freely in the stream of my consciousness; everything is stuck. After some time staring at my mind-mud, I turn to the window. I watch butterflies and wonder about color variations on peaches…

By mid-afternoon the view outside my window is deep in shade. Pigeons and doves are settled in alongside the owl. The butterflies are absent— perhaps moved on to warmer microclimes. The dark green leaves are still. A rusty bedspring leans against the fence and trash from the alley dumpster is caught in the fence. I give over my intellect, my tired eyes, and some part of my soul to the cool of the afternoon. I rest…

Isn’t this kind of holy daydreaming an essential quality of Sabbath? I learn humility from a tree that flowers, fruits, and multiplies whether I sleep or am awake. I am awed by butterflies that can trace the scent of sweetness without extensive computer-generated data and global positioning satellites. I look out my window through the security bars. My mouth waters in anticipation of summer peaches.

~ Rose Marie Berger

Don’t Miss Full Post here: “Getting Our Gaze Back


Notes:
  • Rose Marie Berger, an associate editor of Sojourners, is a Catholic peace activist and poet. Rose has lived in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. since the late 1980s. In the course of a 20 plus-year career in faith-based activism, advocacy journalism, and pastoral leadership, she has proven to be a skilled organizer, exceptional writer, visionary pastoral leader, and innovative teacher of biblical literacy. Rose holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree in poetry from the University of Southern Maine (2005) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from the University of California at Davis (1985).
  • Artist (Peach 2) by Mustafa Hulusi via aptglobal

15 Minutes of Fame

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Monday:

It’s early afternoon. There are ripples. The wind picks up during the day. There are 9,000 blog views by bed time, 8,500 views for a single post, more than 10x my Total average daily views. (Not that I’m counting.) 

I ferret out the source of traffic: Facebook. I’m unsuccessful at locating the fire starter.

Monday EOD Count: 11,000 views

Tuesday:

I wake to find my blog with 18,000 new views.  18,000 views overnight!  No caffeine required.

I sneak peaks during the day to find post views are climbing at more than 5,000 per hour. Heart? Pumping.

The site traffic is picked up by two media sources who send an email requesting my permission to share the post on their site. They ask for my photo.  Oh No. No. No. No.  I reply with thanks, but no thanks.

I go to bed, and sneak a peak at the view count. 101,000. And counting.

Tuesday EOD Count: 125,000 [Read more…]

Morning Bell: Let’s Roll

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Source: oamul.com

About right

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Story at Time Magazine: Never Offline. Image via coverjunkie.com