Does anyone even use the word “photograph” anymore?
That makes me seem old, I should have said “picture.” “Selfie?” “I…image?”
I don’t even know what to call a picture. A pic?
I’m still not used to watching people photograph everything and I’m only 31. I’m not super “old” by society’s standards, I’m still just barely in that coveted 18–34 demographic. I should be living this, the revolution of photographing everything. Selfies. Instagram. Snapchat. Facebook. Twitter. Tumblr. Medium. Share share share.
The sentiment I’m expressing is not new. It’s cliche to point out that everyone looks at their phones now and takes selfies all the time. I’m not saying that it’s horrible. Phones and technology and the internet provide us with so many cool opportunities.
But we probably don’t need to take 100 pictures of our dogs when 1 will do.
“Endless” photo storage space means that selectivity is a lost art. We are generating millions of gigs of digital waste. Photographs that will never be seen except by our trash bins…if we bother to spend the time to delete them. We went from thinking it was cool to be able to carry a camera around to taking it for granted in like, five years.
The irony is that I studied film and photography. I should be loving this. But I often forget that I have a camera in my pocket. I hardly ever use it.
This makes me feel like a weird person.
I don’t want to take pictures of everything I do. I don’t want to take pictures of myself. I don’t want to take a picture just to attach to this story, even though this story would get more views if it had a picture. This morning, I saw a woman on the sidewalk carefully trying to pose her frustrated dog so she could take a picture of him.
He just wanted to keep going for a walk.
Pictures are cool. Cameras are cool. But they’ve changed from being a tool into being a lifestyle. The same generation that will express concerns about surveillance and security and oppression then turns around and produces millions of selfies and other photos that document their day in detail. I am part of this generation, part of this weird dichotomy.
Cameras are not a lifestyle, unless you’re in broadcasting. Webcasting? Youtube? Hmm.
I only use my phone cameras for two main things. Sometimes, I’ll produce a silly video with them…or take a picture for one of these articles. The other thing I do is take pictures of my friends’ pets. I like animals, and having a library of photos of real animals I know that aren’t just random internet animals is in some way special and functional to me.
The rest of the time, I’m like “Ooh! I should take a picture of this wait why. Is it funny? Will I share this? Will it serve some purpose? I don’t need a picture of this.”
“What if I don’t take enough pictures? What if I miss out on having video of something important? Am I really living my life if I’m just filming it all the time? What if I want to remember this later?”
Oh okay I get it. Taking pictures allows everyone to avoid these weird existential questions. Well great.