The other day, I was waiting for my order at the local Western Bagel when three nineteen-year-olds walked in. I didn’t card them or anything, but let’s just say they made me feel old and laughed way too much to be full-fledged adults. After they ordered, they walked over to the beverage refrigerator to get a drink. But instead of just grabbing one and going, one of the girls whipped out her phone and said, “Wait, take my picture!” The others obliged and then asked for THEIR turn in front of the camera. Naked Juice was not this exciting when I was a teen. But it got me thinking.
I read lots of personal blogs as well as my Facebook news feed and yes, there are plenty of pictures of people doing the mundane things they are writing about. It seems like a totally normal thing to view these days, but when you actually think about the effort that goes into broadcasting your life (not to mention all the Instagram filters you can chose from) you basically have become your own hobby. Hmmm…
Now I spend a good portion of my time telling stories on the Internet. I tweet and I blog to entertain, but you won’t find too many candid pics from my cell phone. This is mainly because I’d feel like a moron to ask someone to take a picture of me waiting in line at the pharmacy. Maybe I need a bigger pair of balls?
Or maybe life is meant to be lived and not paused at every turn to document it. One of my favorite lines from Rent (musical theatre nerd here!) is “for someone who longs for a community of his own/Who’s with his camera, alone?” Have we really created a society where individuals feel that to live is to lifecast?
I am torn on the issue because I also see the benefit of looking back and seeing what you were up to back when. We all know our unforgettable moments. But sometimes looking back to the mundane can be equally revealing and nostalgic.
Or we’re just gonna be pissed someday that all of our pictures look like bad 70’s porn.