Internet vs. “The Experience”

This is a response to Bobby Miller’s Huffington Post article, “Has the Internet Killed ‘The Experience’?”. There’s a word limit on HuffPo responses, so I only really got to print HALF of what I said, so here’s the entire comment:

ok. I see what you mean. That’s a good point, and yes… I was referring to the use of social media to make people aware of what I wrote or a video I created.

To directly answer your question, I have *NEVER* received an IRL comment about something that I Twittered which was an actual status update. Then again, I don’t Twitter actual status updates. 🙂

To use your example of television, I really enjoy this season of “24”. While I’m watching it, and great stuff is happening, I definitely have the urge to inform whomever cares to listen that I’m having a quality experience right now, and this is why. I’m not saying “I. Am. Watching. “24”. Right. Now.”, but instead, I’m letting other people know what I consider valuable so that if they feel that I have any taste in selecting decent entertainment, they might check it out themselves and have a good time.

Similarly, I wouldn’t Twitter “Sitting in XYZ bar”, because that’s irrelevant. OTOH, I might say “Hanging out with @erikbeck & @bobbymiller, because there’s social value in that information. Similar to shouting-out “24” as a quality experience, I’m announcing that I’m having a good time, and this is why.

“I’m at a concert” isn’t worth sharing, unless you consider yourself a lifestreamer, and your goal is to let anybody who will listen eavesdrop on the mundane aspects of your day. “I’m at a concert and this band ROCKS!” is valuable information that might lead to someone else having a good time, if they see your post and take your word for it.

For me, personally… I have a lot of fun, and I hang out with enjoyable people. I like being able to document that and represent WHY I had a good time on that particular evening. It’s really for myself and for the people that were there, but at the same time, it’s my own version of a “show”. It’s a new format of entertainment where each one of us gets to be as interesting (or not) as we can be, and we get to “see our name in lights”, plastered across our friends’ Facebook pages, and we get those twinges of fun or excitement as people comment, “like” or reblog our material… Then we get it again, when we’re hanging out IRL and someone says “Love your work!” or “How do you DO that?” 😀

The fact of the matter is that you’re right as far as the addictive need of sharing. It’s like the “experiencing” isn’t enough. That’s one of the reasons television’s falling off. It’s talking AT you, not enabling feedback and/or conversations like video blogs do. At this point, when we have a good time, we’re triggered to share that… because we can. It’s part of the fun of the whole situation. It’s like hooking up with that FOYINE chick, and then you don’t get to tell your boys about it… What’s the point of THAT? 😉

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  1. Social media and sharing are so versatile that you will probably find as many ways to use social media as there are experiences. The urge to share is an experience in itself, it is a human component of our brain, that gets its stimulation from interaction. Without interaction, the cells deteriorate and simply don’t regenerate. They already do this naturally because of the aging process, but it would accelerate dramatically if there was no sharing at all.

    Sharing can take so many different ways of expressing. The number of people you share with does not matter that much, it seems that it is how you perceive the feed-back that would do the trick. And this also varies from one individual to another. Being able to communicate one’s experience can give a thrill to someone, a blast to another, and a smile to a third person. Receiving acknowledgement can be very exciting then. Sometimes even more than the experience itself, because it seems easier to replay the acknowledgement than to actually relive the experience.

    I don’t think that the Internet is killing the experience at all, it is making it totally different though, and with the stretching of the multiple possibilities, it is helping to shape our brains to using more capabilities than ever. Which is probably a very exciting and good news.

    1. Hey Otir! 😀

      I agree. The internet has created a new format of interaction. It’s no longer about the actors that are on the screen that you never meet or speak to or interact with. Now, it’s about getting the experience, sharing the experience and making media viewing a social event instead of a “talking at” communication.

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