Monday, April 12, 2010

Life Moves Fast

I've finally completed my keynote address for the Rocky Mountain Communication Association [link] this week. My topic is "convergence." Revising my paragraphs, I continually return to the idea that convergent technologies appear to transform us all into mobile data terminals, helping us tag places with the invisible graffiti of "I am here" evaluation, connecting with us others by the digital fingerprints of our tweets and buzz feeds.

A recent Palm commercial entitled "Life Moves Fast" offers an image of this world and its pleasure of constant mobility (for those who can afford it, that is). The spot features an attractive young woman strutting down an urban catwalk. Flipping through screen options that float around her, the woman mutates the city to accommodate the momentary convergence of her desire [reminding me the 2009 Lexus City ad]. I think I'll use the Palm commercial as an example during a graduate seminar on media culture I've been asked to join during my Colorado trip.

In my remarks, I might also share the words of Rand Richards Cooper who wrote a New York Times editorial about the decline in civility that follows the decay in our value of particular times and places. Cooper writes, "Cellphones in hand, we microadjust our schedules as they unfold around us. We’re like the air traffic controllers of our own lives." Such power we have -- we're controllers after all. And yet how easily overwhelmed we feel sometimes by all the choices that fly through the air, especially when the center of this world is always us.

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