Photo Generation

Monday, 21 September 2015

Did you guys see the meteor shower?
I was in awe. I sat at my bedroom window, eyes up, neck aching, and every so often exclaiming 'woooooowwwww'. I saw some of the biggest and brightest shooting stars that I have ever seen in my whole life, it was magical.

I sat there waiting for the next star to come along, scared to bend my neck down despite it being so painful to keep holding up, purely because I didn't want to miss out on anything. During this wait I decided that I wanted to take a photo on my phone to share on social media.

I sat there with my phone poised, ready to take a shot when the next shooting star occurred, when my head started having an internal argument. Why was I waiting for a photo and watching through a screen? Why wasn't I just looking up at the sky and appreciating it with my own eyes?
So, I sat and watched the sky, my phone camera pointing in the general direction of my eye-line, and continued my wait, watching with my own eyes.

Then I thought again. Why do I feel guilty for wanting to capture a moment on my phone, just because there is this continuous moral high ground of ‘living in the moment’ and ‘stop living through your phone screen’?

We live in a generation where we do document our day-to-day lives in photographs. Our meals, pets, current activities and latest buys. I’m sure we are all guilty of having a camera roll full of things that don’t really have any importance or real need to be publicized to the world – but hold a memory of a certain day and a certain time in our life. A simple photo of a chocolate bar could have a whole story behind it.

So yes, things may look so much more beautiful to the naked eye, and be great to take in without a phone/camera screen acting as an interceptor, but never feel as if taking a photo or a video isn’t ‘living in the moment’, because having that photo in your camera roll/photo album/scrapbook, means you can relive that moment every time you come back across it.
I did sit there trying to get a photo of a shooting star, because I want to look back at it and be happy that I captured a moment that I loved so much, because memories become distorted and fade. But a photo on a screen or printed out? That lasts as long as you would like it to - and the story that comes with it will last forever.

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