By Scott Shephard
Some people of my generation and earlier (pre-1955) might look at this photo and find it disturbing. "Four people who are no doubt acquaintances sharing a park bench and they can't even talk to each other? 'Smart' devices be damned! It's the end of civilization as we know it!"
Though it hasn't always been the case, I see it differently. These folks no doubt talk to each other but at the moment I took this photo, I'm guessing they are engaged with other friends. And who knows? Some of these friends may be on the other side of the world.
So when I ask "How many friends are in this photo?" I'd answer, "Probably way more than 4." People of my generation who haven't come to terms with this are living in the past and have perhaps forgotten that every new social/entertainment technology has likely been threatening to someone:
- Written books threatened memorized story telling (cf. The Iliad and the Odyssey)
- radio threatened written books
- motion pictures threatened radio
- television threatened movies
- Netflix, YouTube, podcasts, etc. threatens everything else.
But maybe instead of saying "threatened," I should say "enhanced." After all, storytelling, which predates writing, is still with us. In fact so are radio, movies and television now that I think of it.
Canon 5DIII 1/750s f/4.5 ISO400 100mm