Friday, February 3, 2012

Save, Publish, Log Out

I often have mixed feelings about technology.  I am tremendously appreciative of the many ways I benefit from my gadgets.  I love being able to reach people quickly, by phone, by text, by email or Facebook.  Traveling is accessible and relatively convenient.  Research takes a fraction of the time it used to require.  Creative work is savable and sharable.  It is a balm to have instant entertainment in my bag at all times.  I am amazed to see how effective online political action can be (and fast! just look at the Susan G Komen/Planned Parenthood story).  

Moderation works for me, as well.  I get fatigued seeing 8 out of 10 people around me navigating a touch screen instead of looking at their surroundings or being present where I am and they are.  I feel anxiety when I know I have a backlog of messages to sift through and address.  I enjoy long stretches of time with people I love without any electronic interruptions.

At times, multimedia theatre projects thrill me.  For the right piece--for example, a show with a theme that is supported by the addition of technology--layered use of modern media can say something complex in a way that straightforward drama cannot.  Or it can say something very specific about the time we live in right now.  I find, however, that I'm not so interested in using technology for extras that really are just extras.  I don't care to follow a character on Twitter or watch back-story videos on YouTube or read actors' blogs through the process.  I know, I know, some creative show could really integrate such material in a meaningful way, of course.  But it still feels like marketing to me.  With or without the technology, I still want the event to be about what's happening in a room with the people who are there.

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