After speaking with fellow New Year’s Evers about a new (to me) app called musical.ly, or as I like to call it, Musically, I’m realizing that there are millions of people in this world that I will never understand.
The gist of the app is that you make your own music videos, using your phone. They’re mercifully short, and though I’m sure there are some genuinely great clips out there, it’s a selfie that moves, with sound. It’s like Snapchat, but more permanent and centered around songs.
This app is going to make someone a bucket of money. That’s not an issue for me. The issue is understanding why it will make someone all of that money.
I have commented to my wife before that she and I are both on the verge of becoming people for whom the newest technology and inventions make little sense. We’re not quite people asking for help navigating the internet at the library yet, but we’ll get there. When I see things like Musically, it’s odd, because I feel as though the ability to make things like this comes from a certain type of person that I don’t understand. It’s not enough to say that they just wanted to make money, because the thing requires creativity. You actually need to want the thing to exist, beyond what it might do for you financially. Or maybe I have that wrong.
I don’t understand the appeal of Musically. Or of Snapchat. I don’t understand why I’m so enthralled by watching videos of other people playing video games either. I think it’s because these apps don’t immediately fit into the category of toy when you first look at them. A cell phone isn’t a toy, really. But they’re crossing into that territory and are probably used more like toys with each passing day. I think toy and I picture a truck, or a doll, or a set of building blocks. This is the only explanation that makes sense, since there are plenty of toys that I look at with wonder and confusion, but since they look like toys, my brain puts them in that category and the wires don’t cross. With a phone and some jackass dancing in a park while filming himself, I just want to trip him. Maybe that’s just me.
I like to believe that people are, at bottom, very alike. I question that when I hear about self-driving cars and smart homes that can adjust the brightness of a light from a phone. How many of these are toys, and how many are something else? We are strange, mysterious, absurd creatures.