In today’s society, technology is an important aspect of our lives. Yes, compared to the past, people now are more caught up in the social media or their gadgets rather than socializing with others. Like in Gene Weingarten’s article, “Pearls Before Breakfast”, Joshua Bell, a famous musician, performed at the Metro Station as if he was any typical street performer. Though he was extremely talented, few noticed him. Many at the station were rushing to work and didn’t pay attention to him. Furthermore, one individual that did pass by didn’t even hear his music because he was listening to his iPod. It is unfortunate that people can miss something spectacular or rare however, people these days just do not focus what is around them when they have their own music to listen to or gadgets to play with.
However, this does not necessarily mean that people do not participate in the arts. According to Jaron Lanier, author of What Is A Person, he states, “[h]umans are free… We can make culture and journalism into second-rate activities and spend centuries remixing the detritus of 1960s and other eras from before individual creativity went out of fashion.” For example a form of media that includes art would be Instagram. Through Instagram, people use their phones to share photos or videos of themselves to things they are interested in. In addition, people can add on different filters giving the photos an extra touch. Instragrammers are therefore are creating art and while following other people and liking photos. This demonstrates that people are not really secluded in their own world because while they create their own art, they also acknowledge other people’s art as well. So the arts still do have the capacity to bring people together.
In addition to this, as people do dive into the digital technology, people can create different personae. Though they maybe focused in this other personae which makes communication in real life difficult, there is this “virtue community” that Sherry Turkle, author of “Identity Crisis”, mentions. There, people can create a new identity, which can be a form of art, and people would communicate with one another and perhaps admire each other’s “art.” Some people might look at this and think that people may be hiding from reality and creating new personae to escape from reality. However this may not be true. For example, food bloggers: they probably have a normal job in the daytime but perhaps after work, they do not want to be just the normal person having a 9-6 job. It just so happens that their interest is in food and so they do food blogs at night or at their free time. This way, they can make a living and also do things they like and share them with others to appreciate their interest or art.
The idea of “alone, together” may be a more negative way of looking at how much digital technology has as an impact on our society. Why not change the way we think about the presentation of art as being displayed in a museum or performed in famous halls. Why can’t art be free and admired by the public through the social media. In the past, I was very against using digital technology. Most of my friends are always on their phones whenever we hang out. After I got my first smart phone, I realized why they are always on their phones. Digital technology is like a door to many different cultures and arts. Not only that but, this also creates diverse communities where people communicate with one and other about their interests. Yes, in reality, people may not be communicating as much in person, but digital technology can also help to bring people closer through different interest, culture, and arts.