Debunking this photo: what’s true and what’s not.
Yesterday many people shared this image released by NBC Official Page on Facebook.
It is a simple but impressive description about how much our lives changed between 2005 and 2013, thanks to the advances in Mobile and Telco.
However, there are many things in this comparison that I was not convinced at all:
1 - In 2005, no tablet or smartphone as we know them were available.
So, it is obvious why we don’t see any! :-)
Just kidding. One of the first tablets, the Nokia 770, wasn’t available in stores until November of that year.
There were, however, many camera phones (and we see one). They found to be useful in the tale of 2004 Tsunami but it is only after the London bombings reports made by “citizen journalists” that mobile phones were acknowledged by media as disruptive tools with a tremendous potential.
2 - The two photos were taken in two totally different situations.
The 2005 image shows people queuing to pay homage to the mortal remains of the late Pope John Paul II.
The event in question (mourning the body of the Pope) takes place inside the Basilica, not outside like the “Habemus Papam” election depicted in 2013.
I remember many photos and videos showing lots of believers walking past the body, preferring to take a picture rather than a pray for the Pope soul.
Why should have people wanted to take pictures of a queue?
3 - The two photos are taken in completely different places.
In 2005, the photo was shooted almost a kilometer from St. Peter’s Basilica, in the middle of the via della Conciliazione where nothing was happening!
In 2013, the photo is taken just in the middle of St. Peter’s Square, next to the Vatican Obelisk, only a few minutes before revealing the new Pope from the loggia of the Basilica.
It’s obvious that the moment and the place of 2013 picture have a lot more pathos and interest than a day-long queue.
I think the comparison made by NBC is certainly impressive, but it’s definitely built to look even more spectacular.
The Mobile revolution was already under way in 2005, but at those times we were missing only a “place” where people could share such touching moments with their friends: there were no Facebook, noTwitter.
Without a social media environment we would still be in 2005 mobile universe.