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March 08, 2009



I always seem to end up standing behind guys like that. My frustration peaked when we were on the Disney Cruise and I couldn't even move around during the pirate party because of all the dads videotaping their kids having fun without them. Ever since then I've tried harder to put down the camera more often and go actively participate in stuff.

Amy Tedrow

As a mom, I actually had to learn this as well. During one of my daughter's concerts, I was so focused on getting a good camera shot of her playing her instrument, I almost missed her entire concert. So now, I simply snap pics before and after and have learned to enjoy "the moment". It is a lot less stressful...

Ron Taimuty-Loomis

Mark, you are by no means alone in your observation of the effects of digitally-mediated experience. I am reminded of the theorist Baudrillard and the concept of hyperreality . . . Although I touched on the subject in my undergraduate studies, I personally have little expertise in it. So like all neo-experts I go to Wikipedia for some on-hand info (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperreality):

"Baudrillard in particular suggests that the world we live in has been replaced by a copy world, where we seek simulated stimuli and nothing more. Baudrillard borrows, from Jorge Luis Borges (who already borrowed from Lewis Carroll), the example of a society whose cartographers create a map so detailed that it covers the very things it was designed to represent. When the empire declines, the map fades into the landscape and there is neither the representation nor the real remaining – just the hyperreal."

Is this the Transformed Creation we long for?

Do we lose our ability to connect with Christ's real presence, if we can only experience God in high-technology church experiences and have fellowship only via facebook, IM, YouTube, and video gaming?

Will we really see Christ face-to-face, or are we only to hold out hope for God to broadcast in Hi-Def?

Indeed, we need a Savior!

Alexander Wilhelmsen

Bring in your cozy chair because I've written at length again... do I need to get out more? Maybe get more sleep at a better hours... beside the point.

Okay, I saw the video, and I thought, "put your freakin' cameras away!" Why? The reasons that I can think of at this moment are:

1) You saw it on Good Morning America, and I saw it via this blog by way of YouTube.

2) How many of them were really focused on Bono and his vibe and the experience instead of getting the picture right? Don't your hands get tired?

3) Leave the use of cameras to those of us who have the eye for it.

Anyways, I know that personally, I would love to have maybe 15 seconds of Bono upclose, but it'd be between songs, or so I'd think. I can't imagine how anyone really benefits from those camera phone videos, but whatever. I know that if I could snag Bono, and possibly The Edge and the rest of U2, then I'd love a picture with them, but then again, you could get that via some disposable camera (for reference, that would be about 1994 in Helsel years).

Onto the questions:

1. If you ever get Bono in an interview (or if I do, then we need to make sure to ask what his thoughts on this technology is). I personally think that his mentality hasn't changed all too much since he's been doing his think since forever. He's a rock star with a conscience and faith who may not even be worried about how they're looking at him. Although I think he'd rather have the people rock out with him instead of focusing on getting that little video to put, where? Everyone's a photographer, oui ve.

2. I think technically people can't, but with phones and those bricks that people carry around, how can you keep them out? I remember when I took some pictures (albeit not that good) at a Concert Event called Winter Jam in Jacksonville down here in the Sunshine State, and I took a few pictures in between a whole lot of awesomeness to kind of say, I was there, but what really rocked my socks wasn't trying to get a perfect shot on a self admitted inferior to most phones, but whatever. Last year I was thrilled to take in Skillet mainly (who made the experience for me) as well as some BarlowGirl and MercyMe (as well as a few other acts, including one that I still think need to go with their upbeat stuff or be punted). This year it was FamilyForce 5 as the big act for me and Brandon Heath and TobyMac is just a stock rock show, he is still really good at what he does even though the guy is 44 years old? WHA???

Steven Curtis Chapman is only 46 and TobyMac is 44? Wow, that makes me feel old (I'm 24 by the way for those that don't know).

Anyways, a story from this year's trip to J'Ville was what Dad calls "hand wavers" and churchgoers know the type. This isn't your ordinary person who is "surrendering, "reaching out to God," or whatever the idea is that most get from time to time, no, this was one of the small minority who really get into their music.

I was on this trip with Mom who noticed this and didn't think that the person behind them, who was sitting, would be please to have been there behind her, but even though it wasn't my cup of tea either, atleast I can say that she was really into the experience through and through, a lot of the people there were (then again, my viewpoint was a good 200 feet out from the stage, but I don't think that too many upclose on the floor were too busy with their cameras. Atleast I hope not.

For me, the experience hasn't changed, but then again, my concert experience is to get into the music and just "Be."

3. Ask a college/high school student who has a lot of pictures detailing their lives a lot more than me. Actually I'd ask my 39 year old friend from Pittsburgh who has more pictures than I do display for the world to see, as I've got 86 pictures someone else took of me along with 271 self portraits taken out of boredom.

Anyways, out of those 86 pictures, they do take me back to some highlights that I've lived through over the last few years, and it's kind of like a photo album that I've put out there mainly for my friends to check out.

To speak as a social outsider (and there's hardly a debate on that one) who's still hip with it and just recently graduated, I think it depends on how you put this technology to use.

For me it's kind of nice that it's easier to have pictures taken and available. 10 years ago and even before then people took lots of pictures, but it was on film that needed to be developed, and it was hard to share, except for people who could physically be there to see your photo album. The medium is different and you can see what people are talking about, as opposed to before, you could only just tell people until the pictures were developed and you could see the album.

I think for someone like me who can live with a few pictures here and there of my life, and tries to keep the circle close, it's not so bad.

It's also kind of fun to see what others are upto, but some people have way to many pictures, why? Some people show themselves dress inappropriately, or not really dressed as much as should be acceptable. Some show off that they drink, smoke, or do something else inappropriate. That is what's disturbing about today's technology.

Remember Michael Phelps our favorite 8 time Gold Medal stoner? Mark Spitz could have burned through a little grass and who would have known it immediately? Michael Phelps was real time.

There can be a loss of intimacy and privacy that once existed in year's past that was traded off by "bringing people together." I think that it is a double edged sword that has obvious benefits, and then there's the potentially disasterous results from the disconnectedness we experience from the perceived connectedness.

It's crazy how fast things have changed even since I've left high school (which will be six years in May). This blog is one example of technology out there. People who update often on Twitter is a scary thought, and when "EdTV" came out in theaters everyone was like, "Yeah Right..." So much for that, everyone can have their own "Truman Show" and personally, I'm not one to go for that.

As for all of your fun times when you were young, I'm guessing that it wasn't as cheap to burn through film and you really wouldn't be old enough to participate until 1982 (remember Mark, you weren't a Disco Teen). Hopefully before then your parents took a few pictures of the high hats of your life, and you got the rest over time as well. Then again you're talking to someone who is fine not having his teens and most of his 20s on the 'Net.

On the view of having a lot of your life in pictures for all to see, it depends on the person, I think. As for experiencing life, as long as it's life in between the pictures and the phone and bricks are shelved (my phone is often off and I don't have a brick). A lot of my life has been lived before all of this came about, but I'm sure it would have been different and I might look back on my years differently.

Yes those 20-some years happened, but like with you they're mere memories that are getting harder to try and remember. However, it all really happened. You really happened.

Some of your four years down here did make it online, but a whole heck of a lot of it didn't, but it all happened. It's scary to think that life is all too public sometimes, but it's the world we live in, love it or hate it.

As I wrote earlier about just being, I couldn't imagine doing things differently from how I do them now, which is just living life. There are pictures in dressers that look back at my early life, and not too many of my high school life, but it was an experience that I lived through.

I never really think of capturing an experience on a certain medium before just taking in the experience. Now if you have me in a role of journalist/reporter/videographer who's purpose is to capture things for other people, that's different. However, if I'm supposed to be there just to "be," then I'm just going to "be" and take pictures around the moments. Most things are likely available on DVD or YouTube somewhere.

Two thoughts regarding how I ran my radio show back at USF.

1. Almost everything except for the fact that I had a few signature things towards the end of my run (such as the fact that I talked about movies and sports, and my lead in, opening and closing music) to have a straw structure, nothing was really planned other than to be myself and take the show where I wanted it to go until my time was up. I had no playlist planned before the show, it was do it as it comes to mind and say what was on my mind (sometimes why I played what I played). I never really had a plan for the times when I would talk about my staple segments, and it was just my show "in the moment" from week-to-week.

2. The show "Worship In the Lord's Day - Christian Audio Transmission" was Psalm 118:124, "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." or for the contemporary fans and RENT-head out there, "No Day But Today," (similar idea). My point in this context is, "just be." One reason for the show name was that this day is God's.

To Jon, hey, I remember my parents had me try and videotape my sister's performances when we were kids. Somehow they don't get watched too often after the fact. Marriage videos and all that fun stuff... although I would have love to have seen a clip of Mark's fun with a unity candle.

To Amy, don't worry about getting the perfect picture, just get a few pictures and love your child. If you really need a video, then grab a neighbor who doesn't have as much of a vested interest in just being there for her.

For Ron, technology brings us new opportunities to connect like never before, but I understand your concern about the ability to not disconnect sometimes. As for video games, sometimes those lead to some fun conversations, not unlike Sports if you're with the right crew. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

I'm definitely a media guy who's loved video work among other things for most of my young life, but if you ask me to experience something with or without the concern of capturing it on tape, let me bag the video.

A lot has happened over the years with my experience with students, but children and youth through VBS and Youth Ministry, and very little of it is in pictures and video, but they all happened (including some non-facebook pics of me getting "beat up" by a then 8 year old).

I guess your lesson here Mark is to never forget that while technology is nice, sometimes it's better to just experience life in real time than to live it through your lense... especially when it can be seen elsewhere.

No Day But Today, God's Day, ENJOY!!!

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