Thumbing a lift on the super highway of information is dead easy. Almost all of us, do it on a daily basis. Jumping from website to website, snatching bits of data, comparing price and service and saving pins of other people’s ideas, for when we have a spare moment to replicate their designer lives.
When the Baby Boomers have buried their parents, a significant portion of the remaining resistance against the lithium chip revolution, will die with them. While not being one of them, I am thankful for those that prefer to live off the grid. We will need their advice, when it all goes to Hell in a hand basket and we can’t find a working power point.
Our addiction with self expression has created what I call, ‘ identity gridlock‘. There are multiple online platforms on which to construct an identity, to register a opinion and scatter digital images like crumbs on the way to grandma’s cottage. Then there is the food revolution where zillions of meaningless photos of the food that have been consumed are posted. Seriously who cares? Perhaps an automatic image of a malnourished child should be beamed back to you, like reality pingpong.
While the masses are fixated on watching the increasing and decreasing bum sizes of a family of lazy rich self obsessed women… Syria burns, children starve, ice melts….oh it is all too hard, isn’t it?
Most of us with social media profiles and twitter accounts, are critically reviewing our existence and are obsessively following the lives of others that we will never meet and worse still acting as if our own, are of significant interest.
My definition of friendship is frankly more than a Facebook collection of people whose path has crossed mine at some stage. I can barely do justice to the relationships that I currently invest in. I have found in reality that relationships take time and effort.
We are, as humans hardwired to make sense of our living experience and to document our individual and collective human history. We also have a deep appreciation for the art of representation in all of its varied artistic forms.
Do we need a legacy of our identity and over documented lives, for our loved ones for when we no longer physically exist? Does the image of those that have died, now trapped in celluloid create ghosts that we can see or in print, can we now hear the voices of the dead? I’d like to think so. For that reason alone, I thought I’d create my own catalogue of ‘how to do’, for my twenty-something sons. I realised that haunting them from the grave, will have less impact, so I’ve decided against it. Another 30 second idea, shot down in flames!
Perhaps we just all seek a meaningful existence, secretly harbour the wish to live forever and think, like me that cryogenic techniques are frankly stupid science for anyone other than Trump. Let’s not wait until he is clinically dead to embalm him.
I openly admit, I am in love with language, film and photography. I apologise upfront for my lack of being able to elucidate my thoughts by using more of the expansive English language. I fall desperately short, as last count, in 2014, the English language had over one million words.
According to Global Language Monitor, there is a new word created every 98 minutes or about 14.7 words per day. Verbal currency could just be a marketer’s and parent’s nightmare and perhaps that is why new words are invented by the youth.
A recent example of a newly created marketing spin, is the blending of Paracetamol and Ibuprofen , Nuromol. I suggest minimum testing was undertaken in the Australian market…Want a nuromol? ‘What the **** u call me? You’re a mole?.’
The earliest known surviving photograph (made in a camera), was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 or 1827. It is a grainy, midnight blue and beige image of the view from an upstairs window at Niépce’s estate, Le Gras, in the Burgundy region of France.
Time has trudged relentlessly on and brought with it an evolution in the convenience of digital photography.
I miss the original Polaroid or maybe I just miss my youth? Magic seemed to just appear from out of the box. It often however, quietly faded in your photo album, unlike past fashion choices like fluorescent yellow leg warmers.
What does Gen X or Y know about the humiliation of waiting in line to pick up your photos, knowing that the creepy chemist has seen you in that crocheted white bikini or worse still, your joker boyfriend’s full frontal surprise shot? This generation only have to worry about sexting, cyber bullying, trolls and the Dark Web. Yikes, bring back that expensive Kodak film!
We can thank Robert Cornelius for the first selfie, taken in Chestnut Street, Philadelphia in 1839. Now everyone is at it. Across the globe, duelling selfie sticks and buffed up men and whippet thin women gather in front of tourist locations to record themselves, experiencing life. Perhaps photo editing software will become a standard feature on our phones, when we can no longer travel the world?
Instagram has enabled everyone to ‘construct’ their preferred identity using imagery with a series of #sarcasm alert# descriptive hashtags.
A Gen Y woman recently reflected that ‘people were finding their identities via playing Pokémon Go’.
Call me old fashioned, but I thought that process of identity formulation, included reading and debate of philosophy, ideas and history, the development of values through discussion, friendship and socialisation and the expression of individualism through art and culture.
I digress, your choice of imagery and narrative while purposeful, perhaps is best when the life you are promoting is congruent with the #real life#, that you are living. Just saying!