Monday, 26 November 2012

Random Musings: Lifelogging (クローズアップ現代ライフログ)

Image taken from NHK
Every Monday, my class does this really interesting listening practice, where we listen to actual news, as well as watch and discuss this NHK sereis called クローズアップ現代 (Close Up Today). It's like a talk-show, exploring one concept in detail each episode. Today's episode is on LifeLogging and it's a really interesting concept.

Some kind person took a screenshot of the topic. 
I couldn't find the whole video, but NHK has put up the introduction and a write up in the link here. If you can read/listen to Japanese, you should take a look before continuing this post.

For those that can't read Japanese, Lifeblogging is this concept where you record every single thing you do. We saw people who obsessively take photos to document the experience, a guy who records the time of every activity (even brushing his teeth) he does and even a person who uses an app to remember to keep in touch with this friends.

Personally, we think (and I think) that this is too far. We have blogs and facebook, but none of us feel the need to tell the world what we're doing at every second (if I start doing this, unfollow me). In particular, we all disagreed with the "remember to connect with friends app". I can understand if you're using this to sustain business connections, but isn't it always better to develop a friendship with a person out of genuine interest rather than having an app remind you to do it?

And really, it's too time consuming. Perhaps I'm lazy, but I don't know how I'm supposed to find the time to record everything. I suspect I'll end up recording life instead of actually living it.

Which brings me to my main point. A lot of times, people use photos and stuff to record their lives. Nothing wrong with that, only that if you're forever behind a camera, you fail to actually experience the event. I take loads of photos, but I do that because I'm moved (by some sort of emotion), rather than from a goal to record my whole life.

Sometimes, I think life is more interesting when 懐かしい(natsukashii - it um, it means, roughly, looking back fondly on the past). The guy who records every detail of his life? He says that now, when he looks at the images from the past, it no longer holds any nostalgia for him. How sad.

I still hold lots of fond memories of my first trip to Japan, and trust me, the parts I remember and love the best, I didn't take photos. The photos do jog the memory now and then, but I trust that I will always remember the important parts.

To me, there's no point in outsourcing my memories to the computer.

What do you think? Am I making sense? Or is keeping a lifelog a sensible thing?

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