Emerson, (and for Thoreau as well), "each moment provides an opportunity to learn from nature and to approach an understanding of universal order through it. The importance of the present moment, of spontaneous and dynamic interactions with the universe, of the possibilities of the here and now, render past observations and schemes irrelevant."
We have more connections, more access to information and personalities now than any time in our history. But what we really have access to is a collective mind, who's main goal is the making of money, shorthand for consumerism. Capitalism rejects the individual and relies on mass incarceration with the flow of their information ( your gift to them without charge is your personal info but this is secondary) over their corporate owned monopolies in the media circus.
The selfie is a perfect example of the moral climate in this consumer generated society we live in. We have become commodities to be sold. We give freely away our private lives and the corporate media uses that information to regurgitate back to us products we don't need. The means to success for the capitalist mentality is the money transaction, the buying of their products. Our lives are not independent, we have become collective cattle to be prodded for personal information and manipulated to thinking we make the choices when buying products we are somehow attracted to.
Just like in photography we live in a heard mentality. We follow the ads and internalize them and make choices on what to shoot not based on our true desires and our true calling but a shallow representation of a life not worth living. We accept experience (our interaction with nature) now as an act of reflection through a past image taken not for anything deeper than to be doing something other than experiencing the moment with your full conscious intensity.
The act of reflection is a means of living in the past. Taking pictures is similar. It is a physical representation of a past time. It becomes an absorbing repetitious necessity to take a picture which allows you the ability to remember not the present moment but a past moment. This becomes your anchor to living what you believe is a full and meaningful life. The snap shots are objects that seem to posses occult powers and are carried with you in your cell phone, your very own talisman.
Digging deeper into the scene and beginning to feel the empathy toward the world we live in, is the true purpose of image creation.
Is shooting what you are about to eat a real experience worth sharing? Common sense would tell you to "forget about it!" Enjoy the food in the moment and then move outward through self awareness to find subjects with meaning for you and others.
The snapshot puts the present moment behind me. I am separated from the event, my experience is the image taken. We have transitioned from our own time line and made it possible to live our lives ow through a mechanical device. This device is tethered to social media and we gladly expose ourselves to the world, to the collective, to feel we are alive and part of something. But all this time we are moving further and further away from our lives and the control we once had over it. We now are obsessed with the game of likes and dislikes as if that will validate our inner mental states, as if that will be a true experience and interaction with anonymous people we have never met. It is a false god we have become oppressed by it and if we want to get back to a true life, a meaningful life, we must reject this current monster, this leviathan of the look at me mentality. Don't be an object to be exploited but develop your inner vision become your perspective and keep true to your beliefs and your moral compass.