Being the Harry Potter fan I am, I’m fond of Daniel Radcliffe. Yes, I realize he’s not really a wizard, but it’s hard to separate them.
You never hear that much about him, mostly because he seems pretty grounded and avoided the child star curse. He’s just a guy who does stuff. I read a recent interview with him, and the following quote really stood out for me:
“It’s an interesting thing: The internet isn’t about having a good time — it’s about showing people you’re having a good time. When you go out to bars and clubs, nobody’s actually dancing or enjoying themselves; they’re all taking photos of themselves at the bar so that later on they can say, ‘I was there, wasn’t it great?’ It’s crazy.”- Daniel Radcliffe
I’ve noticed this phenomenon before. Every time I go on Facebook, as a matter of fact, I wonder for maybe a second or so, “Why is everyone having more fun than me?” And I think I finally realized, maybe they’re not. Maybe I just don’t take pictures of all the fun stuff I do. I don’t update Facebook with: “I just blew through 50 pages of Man’s Search for Meaning, woo hoo!” complete with photos and the ubiquitous selfie.
I read an article that said that people are having more trouble forming memories because of the rampant picture taking we do. By looking at things through a lens, instead of better remembering them, we remove ourselves from them. In my house, we’re in the habit of no cell phones at meal times. I’ve been trying to see something awesome, like when I’m hiking, and resist the urge to whip out my camera phone. The picture never looks quite the same anyway, so if I sit there and drink it up instead of photographing it, maybe I’ll enjoy it more.
I love pictures as much (or more than) the next guy, but I’m trying to be where I am. I try to just do what I’m doing without giving into the urge to document every step I take. It can be hard. I love taking pictures, and I have a nifty camera with me at all times!
I don’t think that picture taking is a positive or a negative. I just think that we should strive to do all things in moderation, and picture taking is definitely one of them. I love digital cameras because I can snap as much as I want to, but there comes a point when it actually intrudes on the experience, instead of adding to it.
So where do you weigh in on the whole picture taking thing?