Good morning, lovely reader! How was your weekend?
One of my favourite things about my generation is that in twenty (ish) years, we will be able to tell our children anything they want to know about what our lives were like when we were their age. Social media has become a sort of personal encyclopaedia of each user’s life: all of our memories, friendships, photographs and Buzzfeed quiz results are mere clicks away.
I particularly love being able to share photographs on social media, but for some reason I cannot get on with apps like Instagram – I just want a photo. Why must everything be square and made sepia? Photography really propels people around social media sites, catching people’s attention and storing their significant moments. This is a marvellous and brilliant thing (although if I see any more images of flipping meals, which are always captioned with something horrendous like “baked beans for dinner lol I well love this particular type of phaseolus vulgaris innit #bakedbeans #Heinz4lyf #yolo”, I will probably scream). Having said that, I think that there are some moments in life which are better left unphotographed – amazing, beautiful moments, but moments which should be allowed to go unrecorded.
Let’s get this one out of the way nice and early: why do people record videos and take photos all the way through concerts? LISTEN TO THE FLIPPING MUSIC OR GO HOME AND PUT ON THE ALBUM. Of course it’s nice to have something to remember the gig by, but the photographs never come out how you want them to, and the videos are always rubbish. Put your smartphone away and just enjoy the experience. Maybe have a bit of a boogie as well.
I was at a friend’s birthday party this weekend, which was a mini camping trip in a beautiful woodland half an hour outside South London. We had bunting, a barbecue and a flipping great time. We also had a camp fire, which is one of my favourite things in the world. Although when you look around a camp fire or a firework display the faces of your companions seem warmly lit, photos of these joyful communal experiences never show as much clarity or illumination as you remember from the moment itself. Best just to sit back and join in with the “ooh”s and “aah”s, then.
3) Split Seconds
Don’t you just love it when something hilarious or ridiculous happens without any warning? Moments of sheer joy between friends, loved ones and strangers can be lifelong fond memories. It would be great if we could relive them over and over again in HD quality, but inevitably we find ourselves saying “Oh, I wish I had recorded that!” and being left with just our memory of the event. It does seem a shame, but then if we went around recording everything all the time, just in case something funny happened, we wouldn’t be properly engaging with the world around us. Bizarrely, we would end up looking so hard for these moments that we’d end up missing them completely.
You can photograph a moment of happiness, or love, or success. But we all know that sometimes the anticipation is even better than the event we are waiting for, and you can’t capture anticipation in an image. You can’t visually explain that second just before you kiss someone for the first time, or the moment just before your team scores a winning goal. Anticipation is very visceral as an experience: we feel it in strange physiological (as well as cognitive) ways, and it’s something that we should definitely just experience without trying to catch forever. By its nature, after all, anticipation is fleeting (and hopefully followed by awesomeness).
Have a genuinely stupendous Monday.