Galen Rowell, "The best photographs speak for themselves. Attempts to analyze their meaning invariably detract from the special quality that is beyond words in the first place. The photographs that move me the most propel me into an emotional realm where my experience is no longer verbal."
We live creating memories. These memories are our life’s story, our created truth that we were here on this planet and we lived and we died and the only way to preserve them is through picture taking, writings and visual art. These become the artifacts left behind of me and my time here.
In photography, before social media, these images were in family albums and picture frames hung on hallway walls, a shrine to our living in this time and space and our recognition of the continuity between generations, as new images were put in the albums for our family members to see and appreciate especially on holidays.
What is different today in this explosion of social media sites, is that we don’t have a unified place to see our family history but have individual sites that broadcast our memories not just for family members but for the whole world to see, read and judge.
Our real families are fragmenting, growing apart from each other and now correspond in public view on social sites.
We now have an audience other than family to entertain and show our personal lives to. We also have an audience for our on going personal memories and we get noticed, rewarded, and of course we get sympathy and condolences from strangers on theses media platforms and our immediate families are becoming secondary.
Our private inner world is no longer private for family and close friends. We have given access to our world to everyone. We expose ourselves for all to examine, not only our personal thoughts but of course the images we create. We are not ourselves but living a life as a public spectacle. We are becoming actors looking for attention and are reacting to our budding created lives and not focused on truth of memory. We are not allowing things to happen naturally in the moment but instead forcing things to happen for a larger number of views on social media.
We are living our lives through social media. Our personal fragmented truth is a facade of spectacle and not necessarily true to who we are or who we want to become. Social media is a distraction from living life to it’s fullest.
Intimacy through privacy allows us to connect with our loved ones on a one on one basis.Without this we lose our personal past and the ones we trust.
This tsunami of imagery is overwhelming our senses. We are losing our ability to recognize good meaningful photographs. We don’t have the stamina it seems to study an image and enjoy the stillness and calm reflections and interaction we once had with the subject photographed. All is becoming quick and easy surface reading with no understanding or reflection on what we see. We are herded down a narrow path to what is the next and greatest novelty. Not what connects with our inner landscape, our visual talents that reflect who we are.
Photography is becoming a scrap book of forced events posted on social media to make ourselves look more important than we are. This is a false illusion of who we are as a society.
We have elevated the trivial to a stature way beyond understanding and we are missing intimacy which is necessary for relationships to grow and mature and have meaning and purpose.
We are dumbing down our mental chords, as well as our vocal chords by allowing our lives to be hijacked by media outlets which collect information about us in order to sell things to us (just as our imagery is becoming things to be exploited) when we should be interacting with each other and exploring and creating images with focused purpose.