October 1, 2022


Your Partner in the Digital Era

BEIJING SNAPSHOT: as Olympics Ebb, Smartphone Synchronicity | Technological innovation Information

By TED ANTHONY, AP Countrywide Author

BEIJING (AP) — The smartphones glowed. The irony echoed.

As element of the closing ceremony Sunday night time for the most locked-down and sequestered Olympics in human background, a carefully curated crowd packed — effectively, dotted, really — the famed Bird’s Nest stadium as a heat and humanistic demonstrate unfolded.

The show by itself, headed by famed Chinese director Zhang Yimou, rather burst with shade and songs and energy and even joy. It felt disconnected from a COVID-compartmentalized Winter Video games that, even with its insistent topic of “Together for a shared potential,” retained people apart by the countless numbers — each those inside and outdoors its calibrated bubble.

As the closing ceremony arrived at its denouement, anything exciting unfolded. It was the kind of minute that has come to be widespread in the put up-lighter-at-the-concert era.

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Ahead of the ceremony, the official crowd preppers experienced exhorted those people in attendance to, at a certain moment, acquire out their phones. “When the Olympic flame is about to be extinguished,” the emcee claimed, “hold up your phone, convert it on and sway to the tunes.”

And so they did, these diligently screened representatives of a meticulously screened Game titles, these folks who had handed by safety screenings and swabbing of their mucous membranes and all kinds of other gates and portals and checkpoints to assemble below for the occasion which is meant to symbolize the world coming together in the spirit of excellence and amiable competitiveness.

In The Era of The Phone, humanity is negotiating a new marriage with itself. But as we clutch our remarkable and awful devices, be it swaying in unison in an Olympic Stadium or sitting by yourself and achieving across the ether, are we together but always aside? Or apart but often jointly?

The smartphone, hardly a teen in 2022, has — like lots of young people — sucked up most of the oxygen in the space. And as these Olympic faithful in the Bird’s Nest held their telephones skyward to grow to be totems of heat and togetherness against chilly and COVID, a Chinese music identified as “You and Me” performed and the words and phrases “One World” were being shown in fireworks, it was effortless to wonder: Is this now the finest relationship we can hope for?

Ted Anthony, AP’s director of new storytelling and newsroom innovation, is the AP’s former director of Asia-Pacific information and previous China news editor and is masking his seventh Olympics. Comply with him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/anthonyted

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