Life After Digital

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Social media and digital technology are ruining everything.

Is the selfie the end of civilization as we know it? Have we become heartless meme generating morons that are tearing apart the moral fabrics of our society? Has digital technology and social media impacted the way that we experience our lives? Are we less human because we don’t just experience events in real life, but record, share and create content around them? Are we all, suddenly, a bunch of narcissists? Did the sun rise this morning? I didn’t get the chance to hop on to Instagram this morning to see all of your pictures of the sun. I’m kidding, of course, but others are not. Because we live in a world where our smartphones ride shotgun with our experiences, it has never been easier to capture and share our moments. These moments – which, historically, would become memories – are now becoming moments in time that are documented, shared, rated and commented on by everyone. We are creating these massive digital biographies of everyone.

Are you scared by this?

Life After Digital is a newly-produced documentary that is airing tonight on TVO in Canada. I got a pre-release copy of the documentary, because I will be appearing on The Agenda With Steve Paikin tomorrow night to debate the dystopian view of the world that this documentary portrays. Life After Digital claims to examine the end of piracy, cyberbullying, digital revenge and a new generation of recognition technologies that turn each and every one of us into both a barcode and receptacle of user data, that is being tossed around by big business like the scarecrow at the beginning of The Wizard of Oz. Technology is complicated. The Internet is a globally connected network that has created an entirely new, multi-billion-person, village. With that comes all sorts of challenges. Yes, there are some terrible people doing terrible things online, but there is another side to that story. I believe that the positive aspects of the Internet outweigh the negative. I also believe that all of us most come together – as a new community – and be vigilant in fighting (and understanding) these threats (and negativity) as well.

What do you think? Here’s the trailer for Life After Digital: