Let us introduce Amanda Alm, the film student we sent on a worldwide trip to talk to people for the Lifeloggers movie. She’s 24 years old, comes from Västerås and has recently returned there after studying TV/film production in Stockholm. In addition to her interest in media, her big passion is acting and she has a background in amateur theatre, and tells us that her classes in improvisational theatre have proven very useful to her as a reporter.
The teachers at Amanda’s school often passed along gigs to her class and if you were interested and had the spare time you would send an application. In this case, Martin and Oskar placed an ad at the school. Amanda was understandably excited: “I realized this was no ordinary gig and I jumped on the opportunity right away. I had plans to do internships a bit later, but then Memoto and the world became my internship!”, Amanda says.
She had unforgettable moments almost every day during the trip, but to get first-hand experience of all sorts of incredible technology was the coolest part. For example, trying out Thad Starner’s custom-made portable computer. It looked like future glasses straight out of Terminator or Minority Report (the precursor to Google Glass) and was mind-blowing:
“A mini-browser was displayed right before my eyes, and I saw search hits on my name. Thad had instantly googled me right as we met and I hadn’t noticed a thing!” recants Amanda.
They learned something new from every person they met, but the visit with Karen and Richard was very emotional. They were told the story about the couple’s little daughter who was born with a fatal disease and passed away at the age of 4. This was a story of lifelogging from a completely different perspective, as an aid in healthcare, for communication with the extended community (who demonstrated an enormous commitment to help) and for the ones left behind after Sophia was gone.
“I so admire the strength of Karen and Richard, and I’ve never felt as welcomed as during our tearful visit. They are amazing people and I hope I’ll get the opportunity to see them again soon,” Amanda describes the visit.
The word sousveillance, different from surveillance as vividly explained by Steve Mann, was new to Amanda. She finds it interesting to think of lifelogging as a way of sousveillance, a way to share your own point of view to balance out some the surveillance we’re unknowingly subjected to in everyday life. Amanda mentions an example: the recent meteorite crash in Russia. “Drivers having dash cams attached to their cars is common there and what’s captured can provide valuable evidence for situations like accidents etc. Those dash cams were invaluable in gathering lots of material on that meteorite, something useful for scientific analysis,” Amanda suggests.
After coming home she started keeping a food journal, in order to improve her health and vary her weekly menus. “I have an absolute belief in the benefits of lifelogging, both to keep yourself healthy and as an aid in doctor visits etc. In the longer perspective, I think that lifelogging will become integral parts of your private life and your home, and become really helpful in other aspects of life”, Amanda tells us.
After the trip, Amanda graduated from film school and has gotten various jobs, such as assisting in TV productions and acting in minor productions. “I’m currently corresponding with a few contacts from the trip about jobs in the US, we’ll see what comes out of that. My dream job is to be a traveling reporter. Memoto helped me realize that,” she concludes.