Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Belated New Year’s Resolution

Like some people on the planet, I normally don’t make new year's resolutions. The concept never really intrigued me. Sure I have life goals, but I normally don't sit down at the beginning of each year thinking about what I want to accomplish in the next 365 days. By reading the title of this post, you can see that I am making a change for this year.  

This semester, I’m taking a class entitled Mobile Digital Storytelling. Basically, we will spend the semester telling stories using only our mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.). For one of our first assignments in the class, we had to read an online article called The Flâneur.  

For those like me who are not fluent in French, a Flâneur is a term for a person who goes about daily life really seeing what is going on around him. He doesn't so much interact with the world, but instead quietly observes and notices what many other people may miss. A Flâneur would be someone who is content with window shopping instead of going off on an extravagant shopping spree. 

Today, we have a unique component in our lives that the Flâneurs of the past didn't have: technology. 

For most of us, we use technology to tune out, but what if instead, we use it to tune in and share/document our day-to-day experiences? That is my new year's resolution: become a 21st century Flâneur. 

This time last year, I was doing a much better job of being a Flâneur. I was studying abroad in Rome and everyday life was brimming with new experiences. Living in a completely new country and then jetting off almost every weekend to another new country made it very easy to pay attention to small components of daily life. Everything was new and exciting. Now, I’m back in Chicago, a place that I have called home for the past 10 years and the excitement of everyday life has faded. I have become numb to the little things that happen around me that make life so interesting and exciting. 

I want to change this and my hope is to share the things I notice in the form of video, photo and audio in order to inspire others to be more active observers in life. 

As a student studying photography and journalism, I am attracted to discovering things that normally go unseen and I feel I have an obligation to share them with others. 

For those interested, here is a link to my blog that I will be keeping as part of my mobile story class. Also, leave a link in the comments below for your own blogs/instagrams/ whatever you use to document life. I wanna check them out! 

Hope everyone has a great MLK weekend!