A few weeks ago I was in a small group session and as part of an ice-breaker, we all went around answering the question: “If there was a fire and you only had three things to grab, what would they be?” (Ironically, not one of us said our bible. Anyway. I digress.) An overwhelming majority of the answers were things like:
I think maybe one person said photo album. (Come to think of it, I think it was my wife. Not surprised there. :) ) But the bulk of the answers were technology based. And that makes sense, right? Our contacts and schedules are on there. Who needs to save a photo album when you have all that info on your iPad, iPhone, or better yet, on the cloud. You don’t even need physical books anymore (which explains why no one grabbed their bible since about all of us use YouVision). That was my thinking. I even said as much when I shared which items I would take (my iPhone, computer, and hard drives. Yes, I know. I’m a sentimental guy. ;) )
Then the next day, I saw this film on Vimeo (it’s less than 3 min. Watch it!):
Was it a sign? I thought it was very odd that the day after I give this eloquent speech to my small group why we should all be on “the cloud” and have our important memories “protected”, I see a film about a world-wide blackout that destroys all data on earth.
Are we naive in our trust and confidence in this technology? Think about the last time your internet connection went down? How did it affect your day? Or the last time there was a blackout due to a storm? How many expletives did you hurl that day?
Are we missing something now that we’ve put everything on the cloud? Is there something lost now that instead of tactile books that you can hold and smell, you carry around a thin device that is sterile and pristine? As artists, what are we sacrificing by doing away with the feel of paper, the death of film, the joy of cutting and pasting arts and crafts?
You know me. I’m the patron saint of digital media. But I can’t help but wonder if as we become more digitally dependent, we’re losing just a little bit of our souls.
What say you?
P.S. I’m currently working on getting the filmmaker on my show. Stay tuned.
P.P.S. Don’t worry about me. I’m not having a mid-life crisis or anything. I get sentimental like this around the holidays. Next week I’m sure I’ll have some blog post encouraging you to dump paper, sign up for Dropbox, and/or to get over the death of film already. ;)