The arts, an antidote in the digital age

” Theater (slow, communal, physical) may be the cure for what ails us in the digital world.” ~Tracey Moore

iStock_000027103971featureThanks to my friend Ann Wilkinson for posting “Why Theater Majors Are Vital in the Digital Age” by Tracey Moore, published in The Chronicle of Higher Education on April 3, 2016.

Digital communication cannot take the place of face-to-face interaction. And today, that often needs to be taught.

I encourage you to read the whole article. Here are some teasers, all quoted from the article.

  • “Apparently nothing feels as good as the dopamine rush that floods our brains every time the phone “pings.” We are all of us, to a degree, nomophobic (the term coined to describe the anxiety that results from being without one’s phone).”
  • “A colleague tells a story about assigning a scene from a 1970s play in which one character waits on a park bench for some time. The actor was unable to conceive of any kind of “waiting” that did not involve having a cellphone to mitigate the boredom. She simply did not know what to do.”
  • “Solving a STEM equation is important, but discoveries in the sciences will occur only when people know how to be alone with their thoughts. Who is teaching that?”
  • “A colleague recently despaired because her students no longer understood the action “to flirt.” Accustomed to soliciting one another via text, and more used to hookups than dates, this verb was no longer a touchstone for college students, and “flirting” did not elicit any specific physical or emotional behaviors (sustained eye contact, light touch, smiling, playfulness) from the actors. When asked to flirt, they went straight to simulated sex. There was no in-between. Bottom line: Even though technology has become what we do all day, it isn’t human behavior.”

The above state a few of the problems. Read the whole article to see how theater, music, writing, etc. can do to offset our digital fixation.

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