Technology and Trying Too Hard


Technology lets us do so many things.  We also get a chance to get it right.  Is there a price to be paid when we use technology to help us?

There was a time when you would write a report or use a typewriter and once the written word was on the paper, it was there and to make changes required acquiring skills that went above and beyond the basic technique of the original work.

In a digital age, creating, editing, and refining lets us present a product that is as perfect as we want it to be.  With word processing, editing, and blogging tools, we can create and edit at the same time.  The skills to do both mesh together in the process.  For example, as I create this entry, I’ve used my backspace key many times and my spell checker is automatically checking my content because some software developer has determined that we all want to be perfect.  Or, as close to perfect as we wish to be.  Sure, I could turn it off, but I need all the help I can get.

The biggest stories from the Olympics in the last couple of days has been, not about athletics, but by some investigative reporting indicating that the Olympic organizers have used technology in the opening ceremonies.

In this case, National Public Radio reveals that some of the fireworks displays were actually computer animations.

Or, the one to hit the front page of major newspapers, one of the singers was lipsynching a song that was sung by another girl.

These “scandals” are rocking the world as the television audience was “deceived” by these efforts.

Let’s step back for a second folks.  Here’s the biggest event of the year, billions watching on television, and the organizers want to present the best show that they can.

Is all radio live?  Do all newspapers publish stories as submitted without electronic enhancement and editors?

Of course not.

Maybe, at some level, it would be nice to think that a nine year old girl could step up to a microphone and belt out a tune in front of thousands in the stands and billions more watching world-wide.  I’d like to be able to walk over and pick up a shot and throw it like an expert.  Of course, I can’t, but with a bit of digital editing, I sure could.

The Olympics isn’t about a bunch of folks coming in from the farm to take their best shot at things.  It’s the culmination of years of practice with effort and desire to get things as perfect as possible.  We’re entertained by their competitions and we look for world records and perfection at the events.  Should we expect nothing less in the efforts of the organizers to entertain us as we watch and listen on television or over the internet?

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