The video clip above, is of Arcade Fire playing at the Cochella festival. As you watch the video, try to count the number of mobile phones that are being held up to record the concert. Personally I am kind of blown away by this. It’s nothing new, people have been recording concerts of all types for some time now. I used to sneak my SLR into concerts to attempt capture the moment. Recently the Beastie Boys even used crowd sourced video to create a music video for the band.
Watching this I find myself saying there is something more significant happening here then what we might first think.
We are witnessing a revolution in content creation and quality that is taking gigantic leaps forward. The quality of mobile based cameras and editing software just keeps getting better, forcing companies like Flip to shutter their doors, and parent company Cisco to finally admit that video technology is going to primarily end up in our mobile phones. A space that they didn’t bank on when they launched the Flip camera less than 5 years ago.
As this technology improves at a rapid pace, we will become the movie directors and archivists of our lives. Much more so than we did with point and shoot cameras and photo albums or scrap books of years past. In the near future, we are going to see a prolific amount of quality content being created by average folks using their mobile phone, and probably a tablet like the iPad. It will get easier, and it will get better.
One of the things I find so interesting about the video above, is the publisher of the video seems more interested in recording the event, than the concert itself. No doubt the other people holding up their mobile phones and digital cameras feel much the same way. It’s clear that as social media continues to grow that all of us want to share what we see and experience with others. Just look at Instagram’s explosive growth over the last 12 months. It is a great example of how we are recording moments in our lives and saving them to the cloud. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. are all great examples of this. The ability to connect much more richly through these video experiences I feel is going to fundamentally change the way we experience our lives in the near future.
Look ten years out and imagine a person that has grown up with all of this, where this is the norm. Now compare it to the way you experienced and shared the experience of attending a concert ten years ago.
Now think about the way this individual experienced this concert. As you do, you start to see some of the issues with the constant multi-tasking of our always social lives. Yes everyone can multitask – but just like the video above, this changes our relationship to the event, performance, or experience we are interacting with. There is no way you can be 100% focused on that event, you have to give up some of your attention to capture and share the moment.
This pre-occupation with capturing the event calls into question some our future motives and other social issues.
As we become more used to this kind thing, are we going to want to “stage” things to make ourselves and our lives look better to others? Like your life a 78 year reality show where you constantly try to one up others?
Will our obsession with capturing the event mean that we are willing to miss out on the social interaction that creates the memories in the first place, creating a less personal level of social interaction with the people around us?
We will know soon enough, because this is going to become common place.