Having fun. Camera out. Taking picture/shot a video. Go home. Upload picture. Wait for the likes. Sound familiar? Well it should, because the modern world can be described in one word, digital. Iphones, IPads, Samsungs and DSLRs; Flickr, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr. We could be at the birth of our first child, watching a World Cup game, just had sex or spending a day at the beach with our family, but within seconds of arriving we already have our cameras out videoing or taking pictures. So instead of surrendering ourselves to the beauty of the moment with our own two eyes, nowadays it seems we would rather see it through a four inch screen. Sure the screen is HD, but at the end of the day can 20 megapixels replaces seeing a sunset, a child’s face brighten with laughter or seeing your favourite band live in the flesh, in the now with your entire being present? What do you reckon was the most popular word in the whole of 2013? I’ll give you a clue, it wasn’t love, it wasn’t family or friendship – instead it was ‘selfie’ a term used to describe the act of taking a picture of yourself, as part of a group or with a friend. The term was so popular it even spawned a song – and no I don’t want to take a selfie. Please stop with all the selfies!
Okay you eagerly count down the days until you have the pleasure of seeing Vance Joy live, with all the same excitement a kid would have on the countdown to Christmas. The day finally arrives, you round up your closest buddies and eventually find yourself front row seat for the performance of Riptide, which you have spent the last few weeks memorising every last word just for this moment. But wait something doesn’t feel right, you look around. Your surrounded by friends and your listening to your favourite musician, but yet something is missing. Oh yeah, time to flip out your IPhone and film the whole thing and ruin the moment. Because by the very fact that you have a four inch piece of metal and plastic glued to the front of your eyes, you can never truly be in the moment. You’re not allowing yourself to be swept up in its beauty because you’re too concerned about filming it for your social media world to see. But if you insist on seeing the performance through a mobile screen, why bother splashing out £60 in the first places, when you could have stayed at home for free and watched it on your computer on an even bigger screen. But don’t forget about the artist; who instead of being met with a sea of faces being moved by their music, instead get walls of apple logos. Ultimately I just feel over reliance technology renders the whole live music experiences less intimate and personal and more robotic and cold.
Don’t you hate it when you half way through a conversation and you notice that your friend isn’t actually listening to a word you said, but is instead trying to find the right light so they can send a snap chat of themselves? The big reason why the word selfie was so popular in 2013, is simply because we have become obsessed with taking pictures of ourselves; you look on Instagram and you will instantly bombarded with billions upon billions of pictures. Sure there is nothing wrong with taking the odd picture of yourself, that’s what the front camera is for. But when it becomes excessive, it verges on the vanity and superficial, leaving you beneath the surface with a far more serious consequence. With a growing obsession with taking pictures and looking our very best 24/7, can only lead to greater insecurities and wanes our confidences when we realises that you aren’t blessed with supermodel good looks. This obsession with taking pictures of ourselves has the potential to create a more vapid society that is more concerned with peoples looks rather than who they are as a person and what make them unique. The last thing we want is a society of people that start to associate happens and self worth based on how many likes they get on Instagram and Facebook on their profile pictures.
Moment should be fleeting
Don’t you love looking back at old school pictures on FaceBook and remembering the good old times and the simplicity of youth, and gosh how cool you were in school? Sure taking pictures and videos of things can help solidify an extraordinary moment or a memory for a life time. But for me what makes a memory so special is because it’s fleeting nature and how it can be lost in the wind so easily, so you desperately grasp at it and if you can keep a firm hand on it, you treasure it for a life time. And what I also love abut memories are that they always unique to each and every one of us; we can be experiencing the same situation, but we are always going to remember it in a different light or frame, at any one time it may not be 100% what really happened, but it is real to us . But with our insistence on trying to capture it on screen, for me kind of trivialises the memory because we’re diluting its uniqueness and taking away all its magic.