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Are Cell Phones Replacing Reality? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

Are Cell Phones Replacing Reality? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

Here’s an idea. Reality is disappearing, and
your mobile phone is to blame. [THEME MUSIC] Saying that I love my phone
is beyond understatement. It’s like saying that I love
my record collection, coffee, or pants. My pants! It’s such an inextricable
part of my life, I can’t imagine what
I’d do without it. I mean, I’d be fine, but
sort of like without pants, I’d feel a little naked. I love being able to find
restaurants, get directions, use Twitter, send
emails, take pictures. Oh yeah, and, like, make
phone calls or whatever. No, but really, think about it. How often do you use
your phone as a phone in comparison to the other
billion things that it does? Just take a look at mobile
phone advertisements. They advertise recording,
documenting, sharing, personalization, productivity,
aloofness, disinterest, disconnectedness, the mediated
experience of everyday life. Wait, what was I talking about? Oh, right. Mobile phone ads rarely
show people actually making phone calls. It’s all, this girl
at the concert, these guys with the dots,
this phone that is you, these people who aren’t
even looking at one another. These people experience
the world, their lives, through a phone. Their friends and
even their selves are transformed into the
information transmitted by their iMotoSungBoBerryPhone. And because it’s
an advertisement, they have a great
time while they do it. And are very attractive,
and very well-dressed, and the language of advertising
is another video entirely. But the point being that
while it might be weird, there is probably a
grain of truth here. We use our phones
constantly, for everything. They’re great and helpful
and make us more powerful. Ubiquitous computing is
awesome and important. But there is a difference
between technology as utility and technology as lens. Like, let’s say you’re
at a Nickelback show and you’re taking photos,
like the whole time. Are you really even at the show
if, all night long, there’s a screen between you and
this handsome gentleman? People two rows behind you,
and French post-structuralist philosopher and
all-around Grumpy Gus Jean Baudrillard might say, no. No! It’s “Simulacra &
Simulation,” Baudrillard talks about Jorge Luis
Borges’ extremely short story, “On Exactitude in Science.” In it, Borges
describes an empire which is made a map,
quote, “whose size was that of the empire, and
which coincided point for point with it.” Over time, the
impossibly large map becomes part of the landscape. Representation and
thing being represented become, confusingly,
one and the same. For Beaudrillard, this is
an imperfect but beautiful allegory for the simulation
and what he calls hyperreality, a reality constructed
of images, some of which might be of Chad
Kroeger, which represent but also mask true reality. The real, Beaudrillard
says, has been murdered by an endless stream of images. He had a knack for the dramatic. Simulation, then, is the process
which creates hyperreality, the new real. Beaudrillard writes
that the real is produced from
miniaturized cells, matrices, and memory banks–
models of control– and can be reproduced an
indefinite number of times from these. Welcome to the
Desert of the Real. Is any of this ringing a bell? Like, when you look at
photos of Chad on your phone, are you fondly
remembering the show? Or are you consuming
the empire’s map of it? And when you share those
photos, like those people are constantly doing on
those advertisements, are you sharing an experience? Or are you sharing an
idealized reference, some kind of empty symbol? Is your experience of
a sunset still the same if your strongest reaction
is, “Oh my god, you guys, that is some good Instagram.” Are people still people if
they’re expressed solely by SMSes, Foursquare
notifications, tweets, or status updates? Or worse yet, solely
by YouTube videos? I mean, how am I not myself? How am I not myself? How am I not myself? How am I not myself? [SHUDDERS] OK. I’ll admit that some of this
seems a little alarmist. Screens and digital
representations of things are everywhere. If we didn’t want to
experience the world this way, we wouldn’t, right? Phones, tablets,
computers, video games– they all contribute
to this hyperreality, and we seem to be
doing just fine. We still to relate
to one another, have personal experiences,
and sense of self. I am a golden god! And we’re less bored. Which is great, because
people hate being bored. Being bored stinks. And also, we’re more connected
and more knowledgeable. That can’t be all bad. Well, the point might not be
that this arrangement is bad– rather, that it’s different. Majorly different. Recording, living,
capturing, experiencing, all happen constantly
alongside one another, thanks in no small
part to mobile phones. And it’s only becoming
easier– or as Beaudrillard might say, more seductive–
to think of real life as images on a screen,
to combine the map and the thing being mapped. Because it’s more convenient,
less risky and challenging. It’s cleaner, more attractive. It looks, as a
matter of fact, a lot like a cellphone commercial. What do you guys think? Are the things you experience
on your phone real life? Let us know in the comments. And if you’re not taking
pictures of Chad Kroeger right now, please subscribe. (SINGING) Happy Birthday to
you, happy birthday to you. Let’s see what you guys had
to say about “Happy Birthday” and copyright. So first and foremost,
a bunch of people pointed out some awesome
videos that you should watch. If you haven’t seen them,
you should check out CGP Grey’s “Forever
Less One Day,” the Barats & Bereta
“Happy Birth Day” song, the really amazing
“Everything is a Remix” series, and this really great video
response made by plusECON. So we’ll put those
somewhere, and then also, links in the description. Emma Long says that things
that are very catchy should be restricted from
copyright, because they’re going to get stuck in
your head and you’re going to want to use them and
distribute them anyways, which I think a lot of people would
very much disagree with that, but is an idea that I love. darkmyro says that he
doesn’t necessarily think copyright is a bad
thing, in and of itself, but that it’s sometimes used
for less-than-good purposes, and wonders why Congress
is so crazy about copyright enforcement recently. I think I have an idea. Uh, I’ll give you a hint. It makes the world go round
and rhymes with “shmoney.” RedRookieRebel
wonders whether or not the Idea Channel
videos are protected by copyright and
if clips of them can be used in a “My
Little Pony” documentary. The answer to both of
those questions is yes. I’m pretty sure that actually
fair use will protect you in that case, but
even if– whatever. Go crazy. You can use them. Rico McGuffin wonders
whether or not every song is protected from
public performance the same way that “Happy Birthday” is. And it’s kind of complicated. When it’s just you and your
friends singing a song, or like, a small group of
people, that’s one thing. But when it gets into
public performance, especially in a place that’s
commercial, like a restaurant or like a music hall,
that’s when rights-holders might want some cash. elrognol says that they believe
nothing should be protected by copyright and that
it should actually be illegal to own an idea, which
is something that I actually kind of disagree with, as
far left in the copy fight as I tend to stand. There’s actually a
really great paper– we’ll post a link in the
description– about the uses and importance and history
of intellectual property. It’s really good. You should check it out. To Trigfire and a
bunch of other people who asked why I was so upset
that Disney bought “Star Wars,” it’s not necessarily
that I think they’re going to make a bad movie. It’s just that they are
two organizations who are historically very well-known
for holding on very tightly to their intellectual
property, which is– can be a little scary. So that’s why. That’s why I was upset. And finally, there is actually
a little cause for celebration, because Idea Channel recently
reached 100,000 subscribers. So I just want to say
thanks to everybody for being such an
awesome community, for writing amazing comments,
for always impressing us, and coming on this
weird idea journey with us. So in celebration,
I’m going to dance like a fool for a little while. Ready? [MUSIC PLAYING] Thanks. [THEME MUSIC]

99 thoughts on “Are Cell Phones Replacing Reality? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios”

  1. Well that really is too dependent on a cell phone when you can't even take a short roller coaster ride without being on your cell phone while you're on the damn roller coaster.

  2. I saw children in a playground playing on phones instead of the swings… a little part of my self broke when I saw this… don't kids ever just dig a hole in the ground with some sticks anymore… or actually… well i don't know, PLAY!

  3. In the words of Lain, "I am me, and there is no other me than me, right?" The entire show, Serial Experiments Lain covers this very idea, its a great watch if you don't mind the pure weirdness of it all

  4. I have no smartpone.. and I don't get it, when people use them for everything. I need a phone to.. call somebody or be called.

  5. I really do believe that, say, going to a live music concert is actually much more enjoyable to pretty much anyone than just recording it with a cellphone, but we're experimenting with and maybe overusing them because it's new to us.

    But the next generation will discover (say) live music just at the same and my guess is that they'll have a more natural reaction to it.

  6. its the tech. i dont think we can help it lol and the phone is just the medium right now. (used for all these interactions) I could imagine a future where we use an even more seamless tool to do this and moar ;3

  7. Put a gun against his head pulled my trigger now hes dead

    Life had just begun
    and now i got to throw it all away

  8. The main thing I use my phone for: MP3 player first, phone calls second and appointment calendar third, outside those three functions, I rarely use any of its other features. 

  9. In our days, the frontier between physical real interaction and via mobile phone is nearly errased.
    Now, we complete our social interactions with it and, at the same time, we can sometimes block those interactions. For example, it has become very difficult to decide when checking some information about a topic in a conversation is helpful or rude. But this is really only about what we can consider now "polite" or "rude".
    The real problem appears to be when a situation as you say: concert, sunset… is less enjoyable if you can't record or tweet it: nothing it's real if you haven't document it

  10. Ok real talk, last time i used my phone was a mounth ago, but i see a lot, and i meen a lot of people that uses theyr phone to mutch.

  11. I wish we could all just go back to being cavemen. I think the whole human species auta be ashamed of itself…..i'm going camping LOL

  12. All of our realities we only experience through a lense of our own interpretion. If there is such a thing as an objective, real reality, no human has ever "seen" it. 

  13. “It’s funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.” – Alex Delarge.

  14. I think people are getting attached to there cellular phones, and are replacing people for the phone. And I think it is bad because, they are losing touch with reality and what they need to do. I'm more attached to my computer, and don't think much about my phone. It is also part of the reason people don't get out enough and are getting fat. Well that and Fat Food Restaurants.  

  15. i know this is a old video hoping someone reads this anyway. being bored its very important its when your bored that your imagination goes to work and ideas are created the state of boredom its a fertile ground for imagination and creativity, if you dont let your self be bored sometimes life will pass by you in a blink of an eye, turn of the lcd screen and put the eardbuds  away once in a while

  16. No, phones nowadays let people miss the reality, that they live in. It does not represent reality, it shows a digital world and we fade away into it

  17. also, people are MORE connected to eachother IN REAL LIFE than before the internet. Seriously, look it up.

  18. I went from a Smartphone to a regular not smart phone and though I miss the simplicity of immidiate access to the internet anywhere, I have gotten over not having it and a part of me doesn't really want one again. But at the same time I do… ugh.

  19. I actually have to say I'm so mad at myself for focusing so much on the video I was trying to take to remember meeting my favorite band that I didn't actually focus on meeting them…so yeah, maybe focus on the stuff off the screen?

  20. just came back from your youtube is knowlege vid
    you know what fuck this im gonnal stare at a sunset
    marty its 2pm fuck it im watching it

  21. One can experience real life through a screen the same way one can experience it through the pages of a book. It may not allow for empathy, but all anyone talks about is sympathy anyways.

  22. What you experience through the screen is actually a concentrated reality, so in that sense it is not a reality. But genereally we still think it is awesome.  

  23. PBS Idea Channel, I can definitely imagine a phone being used only for phone calls. It's the one I have, and I'm pretty darn happy with my old, nigh-indestructible Nokia flip phone with the ORIGINAL Cingular Rollover plan (the one where Rollover minutes NEVER EVER expire) that hasn't existed for over a decade. The local AT&T reps throw temper tantrums over that one.

    Honestly, smart phones are a dumb idea, when you can save that pile of money normally reserved for the new iPhone 7 Billion to build a awesome high spec custom computer that does all those things smart phones do, but way better. ALL without already being an Iranian Sheik with a private island and golden toilets.

  24. I think phones can be seen as a different world separate from the "real world" but is its own kind of world that is also real somehow.

  25. I don't own a cell phone and I never will. Cell phones are unnecessary and cell phone addiction is real and unhealthy.

  26. wait about 15 years from now the unemployment will be 40 percent because of technology hell its making people lazy now

  27. People seem to still have strong feelings against humans merging with technology. Take the Matrix for instance. People are already trying make way for us to download/upload our memories to a computer to never be forgotten and also to recall easily when ever needed/wanted. So mu thought is, with the technology we use everyday to record and share our lives…photos, videos, fb, instagram, twitter. Are we not already taking those steps towards merging with tech? Almost like we are already doing what people are so afraid we become in the future? Seems like this is a way to do just that, but be in denial about it cause we don't actually have machine parts inside ourselves that do this. Like. Peace of tech surgically planted into our eyes to see the internet or txt messages with needing a device to view them

  28. People don't live anymore. We have become so lazy we let technology live so we don't have to. When the machines take over, eventually, they will, eventually, become so lazy that they have us do everything for them. And then we will take over. And the cycle restarts.

  29. i hate smartphones. and all that stuff xan be done on a desktop, camera, and landline phone and is far more efficient to use the desktop, as a four-tera HD (like mine) is 4096 GB
    or approximately 280x more space than my ipad 2 16gb.
    my desktop runs 16G RAM, equal to the all-ram iPad or iPhone.
    A desktop can also run emulations of any console up to gen VI

  30. All of this discussion about reality versus simulation is fundamentally absurd, given that we have no rational reason to believe that the world "exists" as anything but a collection of sensations. Reality, as we experience it, technology or not, is nothing but a simulation. Technology may provide a different lens through which to experience the collection of sensations we perceive as "reality", but not an objectively better or worse one. In fact, it would be easier to argue that technology adds to, rather than detracting from, what we term "reality". It adds additional stimuli, namely allowing us to experience the perception of others nearly as easily as our own.

  31. Phone leads to the chip in the mind leads to the Hive Mind aka Borg. All in the bible, they will be Immortal(2045 initiative), beg to die but cannot. Open a book, the best book, the bible, decode life, and find salvation aka Jesus. Peace and love.

  32. I've read Baudrillard and it was such a difficult read… Good job on getting the essence out of his works.

  33. I'm one of those people that keeps a bunch of random apps.
    They might be useful one day. I need to fill that 128 GB somehow.

  34. In societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation. The images detached from every aspect of life merge into a common stream in which the unity of that life can no longer be recovered. Fragmented views of reality regroup themselves into a
    new unity as a separate pseudoworld that can only be looked at. The specialization of images of the world evolves into a world of autonomized images where even the deceivers are deceived.
    The spectacle is a concrete inversion of life, an autonomous movement of the nonliving……The spectacle is not a collection of images; it is a social relation between people that is mediated by images. – Guy Debord (1967)

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