Monday, May 16, 2016

I Forgot My Phone (The Analog Self)

I finished reading M.I.T. scholar Sherry Turkle's Reclaiming Conversation. What an amazing, illuminating book about how technology is creating the Analog Self, which is lonelier and less empathic than ever.

Turkle pointed me to this video. She writes:

I Forgot My Phone, a short film directed by Miles Crawford, written by and starring Charlene deGuzman, exemplifies the new recognition. It was posted online in August 2013. It presents the following narrative, a cautionary tale about our flight from conversation: 

Imagine a day when a young woman’s daily routine unfolds normally, with one exception: She forgot her phone. She wakes up in the arms of her lover who idly strokes her arm as he does his email. At a birthday party, guests fuss over getting a picture of the cake. When it’s time for a celebratory toast, the focus is on taking photographs of the champagne. A lunch with friends is silent— everyone is on a phone. When she goes bowling and makes a strike, none of her friends give her a high five; they’re all texting. She can’t share a moment of laughter with her boyfriend when they go out to a comedy club. He has replaced actual laughter with a post “about laughter” that he shares with his online friends. 

Within six months of the film’s release, it had almost 40 million online views. To me, its popularity suggests reason for cautious optimism. People recognize themselves in its disturbing scenario and are perhaps ready to rethink their relationship with their phones.