The debate over digital cameras, and how much they distract individuals from, “living in the moment,” vs. their ability to capture and share experiences, thoughts, and ideas is tired. At least, it is tired in me. Perhaps because I surrendered to my desire to purchase a nice digital camera for Peatuk last holiday season and have become one of those obsessed mothers, sharing thousands of bright colored photos of my son on facebook with hardly any intention of looking back on them again. I’ve made my decision. I am pro-camera.
However, even with the decision made, I can’t help but be overwhelmed with how much the digital camera influences our every day lives and our cultural rituals.
First of all, it seems like we are living in a never-ending photo-shoot. I remember being a teenager, trying on clothing. I remember twisting this way and that in front of a mirror. I remember twirling to see how a dress or skirt flowed. After all, clothing is meant to be worn in motion. We do not sit still all day. That is why fashion shows involve live models walking a runway. It is not the final pose that matters, but the pathway to the climax.
Now, bombarded by online catalogues and constant pictures of girls posing at the beach, in front of statues, at the club, wherever they are… it feels like the motion has been lost. Selfies in the mirror show how girls try on clothes, and there is no motion to it. Butt out, breasts out, lips ducked. Does the outfit hit the pose? It is as if existence has ceased to move and has instead become a stop-motion caricature of life.
I remember being guided through one of my first modeling sessions by my friend. She had me twisting into uncomfortable, unnatural positions. The pictures turned out great, but they were not something you would see in real life. They were a statement, they were not me.
Now, I think that it is a lot more likely that I will see these postures in every day life. On the street corner, girls wearing 6 inch heels, arching their backs as they lean against a wall. Everyone is a pin up model.
Parties, weddings, the first day of school… they are all optimized for photos. Everything works towards that single ‘click.’ It has gone beyond distraction and changed the very fabric of life. How we relate to each other. How we relate to our selves. How we relate to the world around us.
The world feels jolted.
Click. Step. Click. Step. Click. Smile. Click.
It continues, like strobes.
I wonder if that is why I have lost my motion. The world has stopped moving around me.