Staying Human in Augmented Reality

I’ve struggled with finding a balance with how much time I spend on social media via apps on my phone or apps in general in the past. I’ve resorted to deleting Facebook, Instagram and Twitter from my phone to help avoid the time suck that is associated with using them. I always end up finding an excuse to install them again at one point or another.

I am still mindful of how much time I spend on my phone, especially when I’m at home with my kids. That time is so precious to me that I avoid any distractions as much as possible. I usually leave my phone in the bedroom when I’m at home to avoid the temptation of looking at it.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older now (get off my lawn!), but I worry that we’re losing those personal connections and in-person experiences due to our digital devices. This is another thing that I’m very mindful of with my kids and how I’ll introduce cell phones to them whenever that time comes.

I recently read about Snap Art, a new augmented reality platform that Snapchat has created that will allow people to pin art in specific locations so that users can see it via an app. This sounds very cool and I can see a lot of good uses for it, but the section from their product video featuring artist Jeff Koons had me shaking my head.

Koons mentions in the video that “creative experience brings us together, brings about better communication.” I agree with that and think this app can be helpful to get art into places where it would otherwise not be available. But I hope the app includes a push notification after the art has been viewed to recommend that you put your phone down and find someone to talk with about what you just saw.

It’s important to me that we keep the human connection and interaction in mind as new and exciting technology continues to demand our attention. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.