Media of mass distraction

With a seemingly constant and ever evolving stream of new emerging technologies, constant communication and multitasking are the de facto standard of our daily lives and modus operandi.

Today you can do more with less, run a multi-national business from the palm of your hands, work remotely, collaborate across continents, trawl a global repository of mankind’s collective learning whilst sitting on the beach, communicate instantly around the world, capture images, sounds or video whilst out and about as part of our everyday lives – we truly do live in an utterly amazing time in human history!

impossible just shows a lack of imagination

impossible just shows a lack of imagination

However, the class A drug that technology so often proves itself to be, can carry its own high price of addiction.

One evening as my family and I were all together watching a film on TV, I chanced to look around and see that as well as ‘watching’ the film, some were working on their laptop, some checking emails on their iPad, whilst others were texting and tweeting on their phones. So instead of simply engaging with a single source of entertainment, we were each multitasking and utilising different technology devices at the same time. We each had the ‘need’ to consume multiple media streams at the same time with an insatiable appetite that technology is only too ready to support.

I had to smile at my techno addicted family!

Technology is so often touted as the means to bring people together, but in many ways, it can end up separating us from the very essence of what it is to be human. To have and develop meaningful shared emotional resonance between individuals, bringing us together in different depths of relationship with each other.

Liking a status update and adding LOL does not quite have the same degree of connectivity, sometimes we may need to just stop, unplug and take a digital detox if we really want to share and connect with those around us!

Social media feeds like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest etc. all encourage us to record, capture and share moments of our lives with those we know (and often those we don’t!). So at numerous events ranging from concerts to funerals, people are all too readily capturing or annotating their experience of the event, ready to share with the world.

We have become obsessed with trying to capture the moment as opposed to actually really soaking up the fullness of the reality of the live experience. The irony is that in trying to record the experience, much of the time we become so engrossed and obsessed with the process of capturing this unforgettable event, that we actually miss the first hand, first person human experience of actually being there at that precise moment in time.

“Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.”
Buckminster Fuller

Human beings have a multitude of built in senses that normally don’t need to be downloaded from an App Store and installed. Capturing it for prosperity is all well and good, but genuine, deeply felt experiences are best captured by the ‘technology’ that we already possess in the form of our human senses. Often the real physical experiences and memories are the ones that truly last a lifetime, everything else is merely fleeting digital detritus.

Where these senses are damaged or impaired, technology plays a very important role in helping to offer substitute solutions to aid peoples everyday experiences. However, some new technology now seeks to both mimic and improve upon the existing human ability to experience, comprehend and respond to external stimuli.

The advent of emerging technologies such as Google glass the technology looks to augment our normal physical reality and experiences with an interactive digital overlay. It is like being able to get an upgrade to Human 2.0! This is where the boundaries of technology and emotional experience blur. For some, the possibilities are limitless, for others, the implications could have a more scary sci-fi connotation as in cyborgs from Terminator or the Borg from Star Trek.

Don’t get me wrong, technology is great, but it’s no god that should be blindly worshiped!

Thanks for taking the time out to read this, as always, it is always much appreciated! Please feel free to share it with your friends, and add any thoughts or comments you might have on it…

Chris

Stop and get out now if you want inspiration…

What are you waiting for? Staring at screen won’t help. Bing or Google in this case are not actually your friends.

What you actually need is new perspective, new ways of thinking and this rarely happens when you stay (stagnate) in the same place, doing the same old things whilst you remain safe and cozy within in your self-defined comfort zone.

We have the privilege of living within a rapidly changing technological landscape, with an ever-increasing array of mind-boggling opportunities and possibilities, yet still some of the greatest creative tools that have ever been invented, are also the cheapest and most readily available.

The humble pen, pencil, sketch/note-book are one of the most important and valuable creative assets you can possibly have. Use them, don’t leave home without them, they rock! Treasure them, treat them with careless abandonment, dare to doodle, scribble down ideas, join the dots and see what direction it takes you in…

the humble pencil is one of the most fundamental and essential creative tools that exist

the humble pencil is one of the most fundamental and essential creative tools that exist

Worry not about the quality of line, the visual imperfections of your ability to draw, this is simply all about exploring ideas, giving birth to thoughts or concepts, and then bringing them into a visual reality.

A classic demonstration of this was from a simple sketch that Ben Pon (a former Olympian and motor racing driver from the Netherlands) made in April 1947 when he came across a very strange vehicle that a group of German car manufacturer employees had built themselves to make their work easier when transporting heavy parts from production hall to production hall…

Ben Pon took his notebook and sketched a type of vehicle that did not exist in the world at that time – a forward control vehicle with rear engine and a box shaped body. This sketch marked the starting point of a million selling vehicle: the Volkswagen Transporter.

Ben Pon took his notebook and sketched a type of vehicle that did not exist in the world at that time – a forward control vehicle with rear engine and a box-shaped body. This sketch marked the starting point of a million selling vehicle: the Volkswagen Transporter.

At first sight it really is not that impressive as a piece of ‘art’, but it was the concept that was captured on paper. A little later, on 23rd April, this impression crystallised into an idea. Ben Pon took his notebook and sketched a type of vehicle that did not exist in the world at that time – a forward control vehicle with rear engine and a box-shaped body. This simple sketch marked the starting point of a million selling vehicle: the Volkswagen Transporter the vehicle that has become an iconic design for many generations to this very day!

The iconic Volkswagen Split screen 23 window deluxe microbus

The iconic Volkswagen Split screen 23 window deluxe microbus

As one (of the many) great lines from Fight Club proclaims, ‘How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?’

In this instance of looking for inspiration, the ‘fight’ is not an underground fight cub, it is more often a fight against the self-imposed boundaries that tend to limit the creative process. You need to shake things up, break some routines and push the boundaries of our experiences if we are see things in a new way.

If you have not already had an opportunity to read the excellent book ‘Sticky Wisdom: How to Start a Creative Revolution at Work’, I can highly recommend it as a way of helping you find easy and very practical ways of incorporating new creative principles into your everyday lifestyle.

Carpe diem – do it now before the rut becomes too deep to escape from!