Friday, November 21, 2003

Being present

Today while on my way to the Center for Reflective Community Practice at MIT, I ran across a huge student sign with a hand-painted picture of the Kool-Aid guy. I missed having a digital camera with me.

I wonder if we sometimes enjoy things less because we know we can capture it for later perusal. And, in the cases where we don't have the means to capture something for later with us at the moment, instead of hanging around and soaking it in as we might have before the means ever existed (for us), we lament "oh, I wish I could take a picture of that" as we hurry on by or stand there thinking about what we're missing out on.

When I see tourists viewing their surroundings through a video camera as they capture the experience for later, I can't help but feel their experience is altered because they are viewing their surroundings only through the small lens of a camera. What you experience when you walk into a museum is different than when you walk into a museum looking at a 2D version of it (unaware of what's above, below, or beside you...)

How differently do we behave when we feel what we are doing, seeing, thinking, or saying will be "reviewed" later & perhaps by other people?

Maybe it would be nice if people would take the mode they're in when "touring" and swap it with the mode they're in when driving, or waiting in line, or being served at restaurants.


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