Recently I was at a bar having a very challenging conversation with a friend about the state of our lives now that we are connected in so many ways. He looks at facebook and flickr and twitter and yelp and youtube and blogger (and more) and challenges me to explain just how life has gotten better now that I am actively recording, updating, blasting, publishing, posting just everything I do. And not only do I do it, but I often do it in real time- as it's happening. He thinks people like me have lost the ability to really enjoy anything because we are too busy recording everything and telling everyone about it.
Its a troubling question- mostly because I spend a gross amount of time and effort doing it all. By some counts I'm active in over 40 social networks (depending on definition), and I'm often the one stopping to take out a phone or camera or,when I have nothing else, a pen and paper. In my friend's estimation, this means I am not really enjoying anything as much as I could be, not getting as much out the moment as I could be. I'm never as happy as I could be because at any given time I'm half checked out somewhere in my mind and being.
The more I thought about it, however, I simply couldn't agree with his assessment. I don't agree because his measure of utility, his definition enjoyment, is too one demensional. To him it seems you can only enjoy the moment you're physically in. For people like me though, the moment itself is just the beginning.
To begin, we do things we like, we enjoy it. But then we record and comment on it. We start to think about it deeper. We revisit it, find more reasons to appreciate it and enjoy new levels of appreciation from ourselves.
And we start conversations. We talk about our activities with other people, unlock things we didn't know, learn about things similar that we might like that we never would have known about. Or we make new friends that we never knew enjoyed similar things.
And we enjoy the platforms we share on. We explore them too, discover their value, help them to expand and grow and develop for the betterment of others. We gain satisfaction and a sense of worth by contributing for society benefit.
In short, we take a simple moment and expand it into a cascading sequence of experiences that continue to enhance and add value to our lives. While any one might be less than the other, together they may far exceed.
Post: I wrote this before seeing "we live in public"; i'l have to regroup and add more thoughts including response to the film