Television has the reputation of being anti-social. But it is possible to share a television experience. Cuddling on the sofa with someone and enjoying the latest episode of a great TV show is a profoundly social and human experience.
But as I immerse myself more and more into so-called social media, I find it increasingly difficult to concentrate on the real world around me. And for sure my memory is getting substantially worse, with Wikipedia withering my brain like my unused appendix.
Andrew Keen reviews a review of Elsewhere USA (metareviews it?). I haven’t read the book, but the principle of Mass Autism was interesting to me. Some symptoms of Autism do feel familiar to me nowadays, such as constant distraction. And it certianly seems that more and more people have Echolalia.
Twitter is, in my opinion, likely to make the Mass Autism and Internet Addiction situation worse. I read that Twitter was the fastest way to find news about the recent plane crash in the Hudson. My response is: so what? Why is it so important to get extremely fast news on an event that actually had so little to do with any of us? Why don’t we all slow down a little and wait until the news has been ratified and researched. Are we all really such rubberneckers?
It seems we are addicted to consumption of information, needing information as it happens. Muji’s response to this over-consumption trend is to say that their products are just good enough. Not the best. Not something you need to strive your whole life to get. But just good enough. That feels so discordant with the recent past, but is perhaps what is needed for a sustainable economy.
Perhaps this is why people are reverting to older media formats. It seems that all the cool kids are geeking out about books and paper. It is about the analog media’s “thingness”. In a time of such media overconsumption and ubiquitous digital data, vinyl also seems like a treat for my soul. But it’s also about slowing down and breathing in, loggin off, and enjoying the things around you.