Recording our Civilisation

With the advent of the smartphone and to increased connectivity it brings us, it was only a matter of time that we started using this medium to comment and record events in real-time. Concerts, press conferences even everyday, mundane events are now open to be recorded either by video, sound and text. With the numbers of smartphones being sold increasing day by day, this real-time recording of our civlisation is becoming more and more prevalent.

I wonder what this means for us though? The privacy we had before smartphones existed is slowly being eroded away. In the last year we have seen videos that show people in the most tender moments of their life (a loved one dying, a wedding or a child’s first words) being recorded, and going viral for the whole world to see. In a sense, we are sharing what it is to be human but the problem this poses is one of the invasion of privacy. We once were able to go about our daily lives with a carefree sense of abandon (at least when we were kids anyway) but now the voyeuristic element of anyone with a smartphone can encroach on that person at any given moment.

The upside to all of this however is that information is now flowing more freely and quicker thanks to these widely available technologies. I can talk to my Canadian friends instantly using Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp, while reading about the Blue Jays game they’re attending on Twitter, or keeping up on the scores of the Maple Leafs by an NHL Live Tweet session about the game.

The best (and sometimes essential) part of live tweeting is that it gives you multiple different viewpoints on a particular subject immediately in a very short, easy to read format. Recently in class, We had to give our presentations on how we can digitise a story. The presentations were all very well done but we inadvertently created live tweet session out of it, up to now I had never done such a thing but I immediately fell into the whole live tweet thing with ease. It occurred to me that Live Tweeting is a very important function not only in journalism, but also to gain insights and new perspectives and to broaden our horizons evermore. Through this, we can grasp a bigger picture to the event and not just the one facet that we’d like to see.

Live-Tweeting is also great for capturing a moment, much like we would capture a moment using a camera, we can now use text to capture the moment. I was recently watching the Late-Late Toyshow, and every two seconds my phone was buzzing with notifications with some tweets about the farmer’s kid who was rapping or the kid that nearly dropped the F-Bomb live on national television. Prior to this new technology we would not have been able to do this, and much like the age of enlightenment during the 18th century, the vast wealth of the information now being shared is likely going to contribute positively to us and generations to come.

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