BEIJING SNAPSHOT: as Olympics Ebb, Smartphone Synchronicity | Technology News

By TED ANTHONY, AP Countrywide Writer

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

As component of the closing ceremony Sunday night time for the most locked-down and sequestered Olympics in human history, a diligently curated crowd packed — perfectly, dotted, definitely — the famed Bird’s Nest stadium as a heat and humanistic exhibit unfolded.

The exhibit alone, headed by famed Chinese director Zhang Yimou, relatively burst with shade and new music and strength and even joy. It felt disconnected from a COVID-compartmentalized Winter Game titles that, in spite of its insistent concept of “Together for a shared long run,” held people apart by the hundreds — the two these within and exterior its calibrated bubble.

As the closing ceremony reached its denouement, some thing attention-grabbing unfolded. It was the kind of second that has come to be frequent in the post-lighter-at-the-live performance era.

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Right before the ceremony, the formal group preppers had exhorted all those in attendance to, at a certain instant, choose out their telephones. “When the Olympic flame is about to be extinguished,” the emcee mentioned, “keep up your cellphone, transform it on and sway to the music.”

And so they did, these meticulously screened representatives of a diligently screened Game titles, these individuals who experienced passed by protection screenings and swabbing of their mucous membranes and all types of other gates and portals and checkpoints to get right here for the event which is supposed to symbolize the planet coming alongside one another in the spirit of excellence and amiable competition.

In The Period of The Telephone, humanity is negotiating a new partnership with by itself. But as we clutch our amazing and awful products, be it swaying in unison in an Olympic Stadium or sitting down alone and achieving across the ether, are we with each other but usually apart? Or aside but constantly together?

The smartphone, scarcely a teen in 2022, has — like many adolescents — sucked up most of the oxygen in the space. And as these Olympic faithful in the Bird’s Nest held their telephones skyward to become totems of heat and togetherness towards chilly and COVID, a Chinese song termed “You and Me” played and the words “One World” have been shown in fireworks, it was uncomplicated to marvel: Is this now the most effective 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 information editor and is masking his seventh Olympics. Observe him on Twitter at

Copyright 2022 The Connected Press. All legal rights reserved. This material could not be posted, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Eleanore Beatty

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