Smartphone synchronicity as the Olympics decline

Beijing (AP) — Your smartphone is shining. The irony echoed.

On Sunday night, as part of the closing ceremony of the most closed and isolated Olympic Games in human history, a carefully selected crowd filled the Birds Nest Stadium, famous for its warm and humane show.

The show itself, directed by renowned Chinese director Yi-Mou Zhang, has exploded considerably in color, music, energy, and even joy. Despite its tenacious theme of “together for a shared future,” it is a COVID-partitioned Winter Olympics that puts people inside and outside the tuned bubble thousands of away. I felt separated from.

When the closing ceremony was over, something interesting happened. It was a moment that became commonplace in the post-concert writer era.

Prior to the ceremony, official crowd preparers advised attendees to pick up their phone at one moment. “When the Olympic torch was about to go out, the moderator said,” Hold your cell phone to turn it on and sway to the music. “

And they did, these carefully selected representatives of carefully selected games, security screening and wiping of their mucous membranes, and those that passed through all other types of gates and portals and checkpoints. A planet where people gather here and come together in the spirit of excellence and friendly competition.

In the age of the phone, humanity is negotiating a new relationship with itself. But when we’re squeezing a notable and horrifying device, whether it sways in unison at the Olympic Stadium, or sits alone and reaches across ether, are we together but always away? ?? Or are they apart, but always together?

Smartphones were mostly teenagers in 2022, but like many teenagers, they absorbed most of the oxygen in the room. And these Olympics, which are faithful to the bird’s nest, hold their mobile phones to the sky to become a totem of warmth and unity against the cold and COVID, and the Chinese song “You and Me” is played and ” I wonder how easy it was because the word “OneWorld” appeared on the fireworks: is this the best connection we can hope for right now?


Ted Anthony, director of the Associated Press’s new storytelling and newsroom innovation, is a former director of the Associated Press Asia Pacific News, a former Chinese news editor, and covers his seventh Olympics. .. Follow him on Twitter

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