It’s no surprise to anyone when I say we live in a self centered society. We have mirrors in every bathroom, front facing camera on our phones and photo booths at every event we go to. I’m not saying photographing is evil or wrong, I’m just stating that our focus for photographing has evolved from a way to preserve a memory, to nearly a self worship.
A picture says a thousand word is very true, but what about when what the picture is saying is that we live in a superficial society that values youth and beauty above everything else? Are those the words we want our pictures to say? I hope not.
I love a selfie just as much as the next person, but I find that most selfies have become more than a fun way to capture a part of a person, but a way of life.
I have gone on many trips with groups of other teens and over the years I have watched the camera migrate from capturing our surroundings, to just capturing us. Many times when standing in front of a beautiful site I witness my friends standing with their backs to the object and their camera facing them. Foreground-my pal, background- the beautiful statue or building…
What does this say about our culture? We are centered around ourselves. Our beauty. Our value.
I’m not just pointing fingers, I too am guilty of this selfie life style at times. We are too busy looking through a lens, trying to capture the glamour of our life to stop and look at the world with our naked eye.
“People so often whip out their cameras almost mindlessly to capture a moment, to the point that they are missing what is happening right in front of them,” says researcher Linda Henkel of Fairfeld University in the U.S.
This isn’t just causing us to play the comparison game constantly, it’s causing us to loose our memories and it has a name-“photo-taking impairment effect.”
Next time you are experiencing something you want to remember, take a moment to let it in before you take out your camera and while you’re at it, try turning the camera
For more on “photo-taking impairment effect” check out