In a way that’s different than when I was a kid, culture relies on images more than other sensory inputs.
Through photos, through graphics, through interface, that’s how we tell stories. These images inform us through screens. More pervasive than television or newspapers, this juicy visual shorthand is how we communicate.
As the tools to capture and share images evolve, these pictures absorb more of my attention. I scan, I scan, I skip, and I get really good at a never-ending lifetime game of Hot or Not, at a quick visual evaluation.
But the rest of my sensory evaluation is getting flabby.
Sight, that sense is all right, but I’ve done a rotten job at cultivating my hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and that still-undefined sixth sense.
Maybe it’s because I have spent so much of my life online — there are no smells, no touch, no taste online — I halfheartedly listen to music, when I remember, but even that is a pretty narrow category (background noise, music from 20 years ago).
This week, I’m exploring our senses. From noses to guts, from fingertips to Tympanic cavities, I want to think harder about what I’m letting come in my face and how I think about it.
When I pay attention to something, it’s how I love it.
I want to love more.
I want to pay better attention.
In the meantime, I’d love to know this thing from you:
What’s your favorite sense? Why?