"It is the framework that changes with new technology, and not just the picture within the frame." Marshall McLuhanFor those of us who are almost never separated from a networked computing device, our computers and smart phones function as deeply integrated extensions of our mind and body. They immerse us within a virtual environment that overlays and permeates our experience of the physical environment.
With a little thought, it's easy to notice how tools such as the Web, email, instant messaging, social networks and media sharing have changed what we do in the world, but it is very difficult is to discern how they have transformed how we perceive the world.
A few weeks ago I realized that after years of around the clock immersion in the social stream, I'd become blind to its impact on my consciousness. Like a lobster in a pot, I didn't notice that I was less floating in the environment than cooking in it. So I decided to take a short break from social networks, news feeds and blogging in order to cleanse my perceptual palate.
As of today, I'm dipping my toe back in with intentional awareness. My aim is to notice how my use of the medium colors my perception of self, others and the world around me. I'll be exploring this topic here over the next month through brief essays, visual thinking, videography and music.
This first video is a riff on our unconscious immersion in the social stream. The audio track is composed of a string of tweets from my Twitter stream. The data overlays were taken from both my Twitter and G+ streams.