I must be thinking about the comments in yesterday post about my old boss’s comment about the circus and the mystery of how to keep a kids attention for an extended period of time, and then a Canadian magician talking about spending years to learn to perform tricks only to have a kid googling “how to do the trick” while he was performing and tell him. I remember somewhere my research years ago that in the 1960’s it was said a human had an avg attention span over 30 seconds, and I am guessing it was the late 1990’s it was estimated at 1.7 seconds. I am wondering if today it is a nanosecond?
what intrigued and frustrated me about people and their “smart” phones in public is how stupid we are getting with respect to each others space. it is as if everyone is a bubble and people are staring into their omnipotent device (the phone) and staring at it while oblivious to other people, places, spaces and the society right around them. you thought I was joking about never going to MOMA in NYC, I wasn’t. I was sad at how the overall quality of the art exhibit was so low (they had a lot of space closed for installations?) and how odd it was to watch people running around and being in a museum for reasons I don’t know why they were there.
it wasn’t quiet, there were so many people in the space, talking, laughing, and I even saw some kids touching the sculptures despite the signs, “do not touch” all around the display. what really got me was the number of people taking selfies with the art. initially, I thought, “cool…they must love that piece!” Then I realized they simply went around and took a photo of themselves with everything and never stopped to look at the art.
that was the odd part. people paid to go see art in a museum, yet, they didn't stop to observe, look, or enjoy the actual art.
that last line is what struck me as so odd. people were in an art museum and few were actually looking, enjoying, or seeing the art.
perhaps that is the behavior that has me wonder and question the most? you have a room full of people, all with their cell phones out, snapping away with no real rhyme or reason other than, “I want a selfie with a famous piece of art in the background." (i even went up to a few of the pieces and wondered, "is this the real one? or is this a replica hanging in this room full of people?"
I watched people running into each other, bouncing into me, and the main reason is people were all staring into their little phone box and were unaware of all the surrounded them. it is a case for why I don’t really carry a phone anymore – it is too much of a distraction with thinking and thought and while I enjoy photography, the art form is basically dead. photojournalism was about documenting history with no manipulation and that has gone out the door with photoshop and so many images being juiced.
maybe that is the answer? everything has to look more vibrant, colorful, richer, and prettier than it really is. I was at a street corner listening to two grown men explaining how a new filter made him look so great for his new dating app that could have been called, "click, swipe, exchange bodily fluids"
I smiled and then thought of when online dating was relatively new. it was interesting and cool in that people were simply nerds and there weren’t so much of the makeup people didn’t have access to filters, photoshop and such…what you saw was the person that would show up on a date. as time passed, and the mass market came in, I started to loathe the media and image manipulation…you see the “illusion” presented on a magazine cover or a stage. if you see the same people in everyday life – few hold that image. maybe that is why I call it an illusion.
what I see in society is a lot of instant gratification and I wonder how many people that would show up on a date really look like their dates images? The make -up and faux body fillers and work in the USA is astounding.
I still remember the stories of my female friends talking about online dating. “let me get this straight, this older guy wants a 20-year-old beauty queen with a perfect body, yet, he is 100 pounds overweight, been married three times, says he is Christian, and drinks like a fish and wonders why he can’t find someone to date long term?”
I thought they were making this all up. it turns out they weren’t even embellishing anything. I can only imagine what it is like today? I am not sure if I am to pray for a giant solar EMP to wipe out some electronics or have some national three days of no cell phone usage for all…call it the, engage with the human neighbor and not run them over because you are staring into your phone and are oblivious to all around you.
this cannot bode well for the long term of humanity being more humane.