WK 11 – Turning Pages

I personally prefer not to document ephemeral experiences because they are short experiences and I would rather have all my emotions focus on the experience. I think words and pictures are ways to describe the experience; they can be reminders and work as bridges that take us back to memories and experiences. However, words and pictures have their limitations and cannot ever fully capture the experience of being physically present. The style of the words and images definitely matter. For example, one could read a text full of facts and figures – about a very serious, emotional subject – and feel absolutely nothing. But on the other hand, one could read a short poem or a excerpt of someone’s personal experience and feel everything. In my opinion, I think recording/filming is the best way to capture the essence of an experience for people who were not there. Pictures are limited in their scope (i.e. – they capture only a single moment); words can be misinterpreted. A video is the closest thing to actually being present. I believe that the act of trying to document an experience does take you out of the experience, and also that the camera does insert a experiential distance between a person and the event. That person may look back one day and see an image of a particular event in their camera roll, but realize that they can recall very little about the experience itself other than simply being there. Often, and especially in this current technological age, people focus so much attention on capturing an experience rather than just experiencing it. While many people may be physically present at event, a large majority, typically, are emotionally removed as they try to capture the experience with their phones or tablets. My experiences in the library and the bookstore were very different. In the library, I was able to connect more with the experience, as I did not have to worry about documentation. I was more focused and more present in the experience, and thus retained a lot more of that experience than my experience in the bookstore. In the bookstore, I was so preoccupied with taking pictures that my experience was more about the documentation than the experience itself. This activity was a great and thought-provoking experience for me. After this activity, I have decided to focus less on capturing experiences, and more on being emotionally present. Everything is becoming more and more digital and computerized, so one can assume that spaces will continue to be altered as technology continues to progress and become an increasingly important part of daily life. Similarly,  hard-copy books are beginning to wane, as digital/ebooks increase in popularity. And finally, education methods are continuously being adapted in response to new technological developments. Spaces, books, and education will all continue to change as our technology and society continue to modernize.

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