I know this has been covered by loads of people, across loads of social media…but damn, I don’t see it getting any better.
I would like to start this conversation by asking, “JUST HOW MANY FREAKIN’ PICTURES OF YOURSELF DOES THE WORLD NEED?????”
Let’s not forget that I have been on the “bleeding edge” of Social Media, before they started calling it social media. I was an early developer for AOL (remember AOL?), and have watched every incarnation of ways to “share about yourself” develop and multiply through the X, Y, and Millennial generations in ways that even a “visionary” like myself could not have predicted.
But, enough…is…enough. Really.
And that goes for YOU, who probably found this site through social media, where you have tons of pictures of what you had for breakfast, where you last had a beer, the funny thing you found on your face this morning (oh…wait…that was me), or the latest “filtered” Instragram pic of you and your “homies” (do you still call your friends homies?) out for a night on the town.
I did some research on this topic…and was SHOCKED to find out what this meant to my own attempt to “leave a digital imprint” on the world…
First…a pause for a “Reality Check.” I DO realize that I am writing this on a blog…marketed through a variety of social media, which is about ten clicks ahead of a FaceBook page on the “Get Over Yourself” meter of self-aggrandizing. But, let’s also take the time to admit that YOU are here…reading this. And your voyeuristic tendencies to “see what others are doing” is the very fuel that keeps this selfie epidemic fueled! YOU are the carrier…I am part of the disease…but you are the carrier. OK? So…we are all at fault here.
Now…back to the issue at hand.
I counted my own Facebook photos…then I counted EVERY SINGLE PRINTED PICTURE of me from birth through the “digital age” (in which I began actively participating in the year 1995, far ahead of my peer group, and before most of you snotty-nosed mavens of snapchat even had a padular device…which was most likely bought by your unsuspecting parents).
There were more pictures from our last trip to New York posted, than the entirety of the rest of my life in hard-copy form. Holyfreakinshirt!
I realize that like most of the “digital age,” the real barrier to most people taking a zillion pictures of every event, had to do with the fact that you had to buy film…have it developed…and then have them printed. My entire trip to Europe…in 1971…which lasted for 40 days…was captured in what amounted to two small albums of 50 photos each. More than half of these were in Black and White, because I couldn’t afford the additional film and processing cost of color.
Yes. I’m that old.
I even kept some pics where my thumb was in the shot. Because it was still a picture of the moment, that will never be present again.
These days, every picture posted is likely “the best” from tens of pics of the same pose…ALL of which are instantly scrutinized by the participants in a wild debate of, “that one looks good of me, but YOU don’t look good, and this one makes me look fat, and that guy was photo-bombing us in this one..and OK..THAT one will work!” (this is the short version).
How do I know this? I have five daughters.
Or they are filtered, or photoshopped to make them look more like a pic from a magazine (remember magazines?). which ironically are relying more and more on mobile device pics sent by readers. It’s nuts!!
And do we EVER really take the time to look at them all again, once they are archived or posted??? Who the hell has time for that?????
The cloud…super large and inexpensive hard drives…and ever-growing media/data accounts make it more possible than ever before for everyone to be a star, a manager, promoter, and CEO of “one’s own brand.”
But in the end…we all know the outcome. They are going to mostly be just reams, and reams, and reams of digital clutter that nobody will ever take the time to view again, unless something happens to make you famous…like getting caught on the top of the fence surrounding the White House, when you thought that “a selfie of you would look better over there by the fountain.”
The music stars are starting to call people out on not “being in the moment” and ruining performances by trying to capture the performance in which they have reduced themselves to casual observers.
And I agree.
Put. Down. The. Damn. Cell. Phones.
And let’s not even start with where I’d like to put your “selfie sticks.”
Is it any wonder that there are more and more deaths attributed to people trying to take “selfies” in unsafe locations? You become disconnected to reality when you are gazing at yourself, trying to “capture a moment” that is manufactured in your own head.
Again. Put. Down. The Damn. Cell. Phones.
Or God may reach out and decide that “there is enough of you already floating around the ether of the cloud” and it’s time to call you home.