iPhonography: Kills Our Experiences And Memories, Or Enhances Them?

iPhonography: Kills Our Experiences And Memories, Or Enhances Them?

When was the last time you went to see a live concert of your favorite artist without taking out your phone to snap a photo or take a video of your favorite song? Or what about the last time you traveled to experience the beauty of different parts of the world without seeing it though the phone screen?. The habit of documenting everything we experience developed just in the past few years with the help of smarter phones, and of course the rising of social media that pushes people to share their experiences, especially in the form of photos. But is this habit actually killing our memories and experiences? Are people more focused on their phone screen than actually experience what's in front of them?

Check out this great video by BBC talking about this topic from all angles (and all smartphones).

[Via Guy Prives and BBC]

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37 Comments

Your phone is not only tracking you, it is brainwashing you too. This isn't normal human addiction. All I see are phone zombies when I am out. Resist the brainwashing...

Andrew Williams's picture

that's why more people are getting hit by cars. They're so busy looking at their phone while driving.

As opposed to all the other reasons people got hit int he past before smart phones?

JOE DDD (Daniel Dalin Drechsler)'s picture

yup i had a kid walk into the road, in front of my vehicle. I had noticed him walking so i didn't hit him. BUT when I honked the horn JUST A SMALL BIT he got pissed and threw me the finger...LOL saved the little f**k's life, and got told F*@K YOU for doing it....

My solution to this is to carry only one film camera and one roll of film when going out, and ban the use of iphonography. Using 36 frames to tell the story of one day, making you think before you actuate, and helps you focus on experiencing rather than shooting.

Zach Sutton's picture

I love this idea. I might take advantage of it...

Noam Galai's picture

Agree! very cool

Andrew Griswold's picture

Have you guys seen that photography app that works the same way as a film camera? Not saying its better than a film camera and the limitations of taking only x numbers of shots on a roll but the idea of the app is you get 36 shots per roll and you cannot see the photo after you take it until the roll is finished and you cant start a new roll until you finish a roll. I cant remember the name of the app to save my life but will find it. Maybe I saw it on here?

Andrew Griswold's picture

Found it! Just in case anyone was curious. The app that I was talking about above is called RollFilmTimes and lets you choose between 24 and 36 rolls and will not let you "develop" the film to your Camera Roll until after all the shots are taken. Yes its not the same as a real roll of film but it somewhat gets you in the mind set of thinking before you shoot. Also all the rolls are saved in "film rolls" in the app as collections to share. This also keeps you on your toes to make all the shots great.

Zach Ashcraft's picture

I do this digitally by bringing a small 2GB card with me :)

I actually wonder this every time I go to a concert. People are so consumed with taking video of the concert that they can't possibly be enjoying the experience of BEING at the concert. Rewatching your crappy iPhone videos will not compare to just EXPERIENCING the concert while you are there. I saw a funny cartoon once that summed it up..."That was the best concert I never saw!"

JOE DDD (Daniel Dalin Drechsler)'s picture

ya i agree.
One thing I thought of while watching these people, is as they watched and recorded the concert, on that small small screen, " HEY DUMASS PUT DOWN THE PHONE THE ACTUAL STAGE IS TEN FEET FROM YOU THIS IS THE BEST H.D. YOU'LL EVER EXPERIENCE!!!!"

Bob Bell's picture

Bang on.

I haven't used my smartphone to record a video in a long while. I used my smartphone to record the audio of the final Space Shuttle launch on July 8, 2011, while I shot about six frames on Kodak Ektar 100.
Okay, I did record a song at a local Greek festival, but I also brought along my 35mm film camera for the event.

JOE DDD (Daniel Dalin Drechsler)'s picture

I walked into a local coffee shop, and witnessed four girls sitting at a table, each with a coffee, and TEXTING EACH OTHER!! (instead of lifting their heads and speaking the words to the girl a meter away...

The good side in this situation is that.... they're not making any noise :D

You are all right. We should all go back to pad and pen, search in yellow pages, regular mail, and ask people for directions. I hate to say it, its a bitter pill to swallow. Times will change, and old ways will fall on the way side. That is just life. There is nothing you can do but adapt to it. Thats evolution for you. My father is 85 years old, he has an iPhone, and an iPad. I take pride in the fact that he has embraced it. He was never into photography like me, but its great to see him shoot and take pictures daily. Not everyone shooting pics with an iPhone is trying to be a photographer. They are shooting these moments for themselves. I don't think people realize that.

I fully understand and it's great that they are at least being creative, but is anyone else getting a bit bored of seeing photos of everyone's uneaten food and drinks appearing on their Facebook (or whatever) stream?

I know it's not the point, but the BBC video feels like a perfect advertisement for the Memoto camera. :-X

As a photographer and visual artist i count the act of taking photos part of my experience. Either way i am going to be taking images and documenting my day. Its something I ENJOY DOING. That is part of the moment for me. My phone is always on me, and its nice to not have to carry around a large, really expensive setup to get a photo of a friend in beautiful light when i see it. I fully support Iphoneography and i think that its their life. Stop worrying about what others are doing, if they choose to take video instead of watching the concert it is their life. Let them do what makes them happy, they paid the money to have the choice to spend that time the way they want.

Adam Cross's picture

people engage and enjoy experiences in different ways now, I wouldn't say recording something on your phone means you're detached and not enjoying it - the same as if getting drunk means you can't enjoy it since you're not completely aware of everything going on :P I also think that too many people are concerned with what other people are doing ;) enjoy shows etc for yourself, don't waste energy worrying about what others are upto.

Interesting stuff. I get annoyed when 80% of the people I'm having lunch with, are on their phones - waiting for someone to bring up an interesting subject. Even if you tell them about something you heard, there's always someone who has to google it and correct you - so they feel like they know everything.

This era is s**t.

ughh how annoying :( I find riding the elevators up and down at work, and everyone gets on their phone. It's not like we are all concerting multi-million dollar banking deals...jeesh! Try to make some small talk and they look at you like a deer caught in the headlights!

Sean Shimmel's picture

Hyper IPhoneography is like rat-pellet feedback.

Stimulus and response gone... bad

I'm the only one in our house that actually watches the TV

that could be a good thing ;)

This pic should have been with my comment

interesting. I do think when ever subjects like this are brought up they are a little exaggerated. We are on our phones a lot but i think only a few people are the extreme. The psychologist mentioned being obsessed with the gaining of approval of actions through social media, but people forget we have always been looking for approval from peers. why do people dress the way they do or act the way they do, they want to be accepted it is just more obvious to see this search fro approval now a days because of social media.

My personal opinion is that iPhones (androids, whatever) cheapen the experience of life. My gosh, if you can and do take a picture of everything, how do you ever learn and/or retain the ability to take it in and comprehend? There is no longer any point in feeling empathy, excitement, awe, etc because it all boils down to who whips out the phone and posts an annoying instagram or facebook photo faster. Not only that, it also encourages people to document every bleeding thing they do throughout the day. I find it annoying. Being able to call people anytime anywhere creates it's own set of issues as well. People are on their phones talking or snap shooting 18 hours a day, at some point they will just evolve with the technology hard wired in. Not saying there's not a lot of good that comes from digital communication, it's just that 95% of it is erroneous crap.

I don't think iPhoneography is to blame but more to do with the social networks. I think taking pictures, on any device, is a great thing. Providing that whoever is taking the picture is truly enjoying that moment and not just finding the next shot of what they are drinking to pop up on social media. I am a photographer, iDevice nut, and an App addict but I do it all for my own personal reasons or add a new medium to share my experience with friends and family. I think the kids of today don't stand a chance when they have all the pressures of being liked or cool in the real world as well as in cyberspace. This is the reason that kids at stupidly young ages, saw a 12 year old with an iPad and an iPhone, who have to have a running commentary of pointless status updates and crappy photos in a hope to be accepted. I find it very sad but also exciting as more and more people are taking pictures.

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