To experience or to record?

This Modern Age: The Youth Ball Welcomes Obama with a Sea of Digital Cameras
This is definitely something I’ve noticed a lot of lately: people are more interested in taking photos of something they’re witnessing than actually, you know, witnessing it. These people are all looking at LCD screens instead of the new Presidential couple standing in front of them. Sure, they’ll be able to post the photo to their Facebook accounts, but they’ll (obviously) be able to find 100 identical or better photos of the same thing on Flickr when they get home. Is it more important to take a unique photo to prove you were there or to exist in that moment fully as to remember it better?

And most importantly, this:

And in the end, what will help you remember an experience better: taking a not-great picture that’s 80% crowd, or giving that experience 100% of your attention? You can always find photos online later, but you’ll never be able to go back to that moment again and, well, pay attention to it.
(Via Gizmodo)

Isn’t that again to have, that is, filming, photographing, blogging the moment – to be experienced later, vs to be… experiencing the moment firsthand…

And then there is this concert, where cameras and phones are actively encouraged:

Featuring Benjamin Britten’s magnificent Second Cello Suite alongside music by Milton Mermikides, Max Richter, John Metcalfe, Joby Talbot, James Macmillan and Sally Beamish, it should be a most exciting evening. With a unique interaction interface, the audience are encouraged to SMS, twitter and email their opinions in and they will dynamically redraw on the walls with sourced artwork and an understanding of relevance! Bring your cameras, phones, BlackBerrys and iPhones – but please remember to keep them switched on. Your ticket is your “creative license” to do what you like: photograph it, record it, blog it.. so long as it’s done in a fair and considerate manner!

fair and considerate manner… what the hell is that? I can tell you I would never attend a concert like that one. Clickety-clack, flash, flash, whir-whir… no thanks.

PS: Twenty years from now, will recording be ubiquitous and will we be used to talking to a screen instead of faces? Will recording devices be hidden from view, built into glasses, hats or jackets? Or will recording be unnecessary because everything is recorded by HD webcams and satellites anyway?