The question before every frame.
We focus only on public spaces as, until recently, this part of our social environment remained unchanged. Until yesterday, the roads were there to remind us that we are part of an extended social group, that there are other realities out there, beyond those we believe in and those we are comfortable with. In the same way, the streets were there to dilute ourselves into the social ‘we’. Yet today, we see a large proportion of people walking around isolated, and disconnected, from the reality surrounding them.
In the end, everything comes down to the question: “who is responsible for this new behavior?” Social media and attention engineers. They wrote code, taking into account human behaviour and playing with our dopamine levels. Is it worrying that our attention became a commodity? Machines learning to decide what comes next on our screens? Mobile and Internet? Technology? What about our individual responsibility?
Internet, mobile phones, social media, etc… are new magic tools in our hands. We are able to empower our lives in similar manners, as the steam and the discovery of the wheel did in the past. For now, we are still little kids playing with new, freshly discovered toys. We enjoy a superpower, we enjoy pleasure and opportunities – all whilst being totally unaware of the possible downsides. Or, at least, unaware of the upcoming changes. What does human experience mean? Are we heading towards a new norm, before we even realize it?