No matter your taste, the opportunity to hear her perform is what one would call an ‘experience.’ The ad guys had two hands. One clutched a beer bottle, the other recorded Blige’s set on their smartphones.
The smartphone is a devious little weapon. Its power in connecting us all, and sharing all the cleverness nipping round the Riviera is both a beautiful and lucrative thing.
But my fear for the boys on the beach and the 12,000 scuttling around the meeting rooms, is that people are neglecting their eyes, ears and brains. We are here, as we document via our social channels — but are we looking, listening and really learning?
The TED brand has been built off the back of the smartphone’s influence. Smartphones and social networks have brought brilliance to millions of people around the world. Last week, the TED London team banned mobilesinside their events for the first time. The ban “gave permission” to properly listen and learn, rather than listen for a quote to tweet.
The most powerful processors of them all — our brains — aren’t getting the workouts they need. The smartphone distracts and tugs at the cells, pulling you mentally out of the room, even if your body is in it. People walking down the Croisette with their heads down are missing people they came out to see. Information and noise is being picked up by ears, but what are the real levels of critical thought?
Rummage around #canneslions on twitter, and the lack of debate, passion, confrontation and joy is palpable when set against the reportage of simply being here.
That $2,000 Cannes Lions pass has been spent to feed the brain. The smartphone is helping give it a week off. Use it wisely.