Today we have so many choices as to how we share our favorite images. But there was a time when we didn’t have all this technology. What did us old-timers do in the “Before Times?” back before the Goog or the Yahooz, before the FaceBible or Imjurz? There were photo albums and slide shows. But even before then, what was there?
Pens and paper? Canvas and oils? Before!
Charcoal on cave walls? OK, we’ve gone back too far.
Before our ability to share images on the internet and the new, mysterious “cloud,” we had another mechanism, one which is at once simpler, yet also more powerful. It is language, but language used in a specific way.
If I share a photo with you on facebook, you can see what I see, exactly. But if I describe it to you, you and I will see different things. As students of behavior, there is no good or bad, there is only benefits and costs to every decision. And if I decide to try and describe the picture in my head using words instead of a photo-sharing site, that’s my choice. Let’s try one and see how it works.
Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” There, see anything? There’s a good chance that within your mind you are seeing almost exactly the same image that I see. The juxtaposition of little ink (or pixel) dots that form the phrase at the beginning of this paragraph have conveyed an image from my mind to yours. No connecting wires (at least for the last few meters, right?) and no need for the cloud. For we, you and I, are the cloud. Next.
Jackie Robinson’s first Dodger’s game, April 15th 1947. I wasn’t there, and there’s a good chance you weren’t either. I met a man the other day who was. Jackie was put in at first base. He struck out the first time at bat; and was roundly booed. Next at bat he put it out of the park. I don’t think he was ever booed after that. But that’s not the point.
The point here is that the phrase did not create the same image within my head as yours. I’d learned about this event from someone who was there. But it took many more words to get that image across.
Even if we had both been at the park that day, there’s a good chance that we would share the same experience, but not the same pictures within our head. The reason is that we sat in different seats. But the overall experience, that is something we would always share.
Picture sharing. Experience sharing. In words. Who would have thought?
Be the cloud.