During last weekend’s Signal Festival, which was bigger and more crowded in comparison to last year’s, I noticed something else apart from the light installations.
More people were there only to some extent – especially when the installations were on. Their lives – and I dare say people’s lives in general – have become more mediated. That medium through which we increasingly experience our physical world needs no introduction – behold the always connected, time and energy sucking smartphone.
Why use your eyes if you can look at the world through your 1080 x 1920 pixelled display? Call me conservative, but I find it disturbing and am beginning to stand more firmly against the digital experience of our lives. What’s interesting was that it’s not just the teenagers or millennials who swiped, clicked, and shared. It was literally everyone! I am not suggesting that only my peers should be digitally literate. Quite the opposite! But could someone please explain to me how we, as a society, benefit from uploading countless photos and videos every other minute.
Maybe it’s time for another anti-movement within the movement that is increasingly shaping our day-to-day experiences and our mental and physical environments. Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time. Think about the slow food movement as a reaction against the fast food way of eating that is making us obese, imposing cruel conditions of factory farming and destroying the planet. Think about the slow fashion and the revival of second hands as saying no to sweatshop-based brands such as H&M, Primark or Zara.
Could someone please come up with a trending hashtag for the upcoming elections to the Czech Chamber of Deputies? If half the people running on the crowded streets came to #VoteBecauseBabisSucks and #EveryVoteCounts I would for once praise social media.
That Saturday night sky was clear and the stars were clearly visible. Did they want to see the installments too or were they laughing at us? How would a romanticized scene from some movie, where a person starts explaining and naming the stars as a way to enchant the other person, look like today? Does the number of followers, subscribers, or average likes spin your head?