Digital Witness

I read a Q&A with comedian/author Greg Behrendt in CityBeat (a local alternative weekly) yesterday. I’m not familiar with Mr. Behrendt’s work, but the article mentioned that last year he was diagnosed with cancer and went through three rounds of chemo. And that battle gave him an interesting perspective on social media:

CB: You don’t seem to be as engaged in social media. Why is that?
GB: Recently I just stopped going on any of it. I have them for promotional purposes, but I find they don’t even work well for that anymore. There’s just so much, and it’s an echo chamber of your own taste sometimes. I just got off and wondered what kind of art I would create if I were less plugged in and more aware of my natural environment. It’s been so far so good.
CB: So are you feeling more connected with the real world?
GB: After being sick last year, I realized I wasn’t thinking about my Facebook page. I was worried about spending time with people that I love and being in the world more. I just wanted to be part of the human experience a little bit more. I think there’s a kind of connection with the Internet, but there’s kind of a danger in it as well. The news cycle is so fast and people are missing important facts — it gets to be unhealthy. We become less thoughtful and we’re on to the next thing.

 This may sound strange coming in a blog post, but I do agree with GB. Unplug from the interwebs and get out in the world more.

This morning while driving my youngest son to school, I heard this great song on the same subject from St. Vincent.

 

Favorite lyric:

If I can’t show it, if you can’t see me
What’s the point of doing anything?

And St. Vincent (a.k.a. Annie Clark) has some fantastic hair too.

Leave a Reply