Tuesday, December 29 2009
I saw a strange phenomenon on my last visit to Walt Disney World. It occurred during the closing firework display in front of Cinderella's Castle. If you haven't been to WDW and seen the nighttime extravaganza it is phenomenal but that is not what I'm talking about. What appeared to me to be so strange, so exceptional, and so abnormal as to call it a phenomenon was the sea of blue screens that popped up over the gathered crowd.
I stood there watching hundreds, perhaps thousands of people pull out a small recording device; be it a camera, video recorder, or cell phone and like putting on 3D glasses before a movie; they put these devices up and watched the entire show through their small screen.
What is so strange about this? Well stop and think about it. They were exchanging reality for recording, living color for tintype, grand spectacle for miniature screen. In essence they were there but not there, they saw but did not see. I was so confounded, no dumbfounded...maybe even stupefied. Why would anyone miss the moment, the beauty, the romance, the glory in exchange for the recorded, the mundane, the imitation on a very small screen?
Then it hit me. We do it all the time. It is the same phenomenon that makes a person standing in line at Disney World text someone who isn't there rather than speak to someone who is there. It is the same phenomenon that makes a person sit alone in a coffee shop in front of a small screen rather than sit and converse with another person. I could go on and on but the point is we are addicted to the small screen and the tragedy is this addiction leads us into a very small story. No wonder life seems dull, boring, routine, and even ugly. We are viewing it through the wrong lens.
I am going to close this small screen and go for a walk. I am going to breathe deeply, look at the sky, and maybe even find somebody to talk to.