Over the years, I have seen countless posts of people posting pictures of themselves on social media. In my head, I used to think, "How vain does one need to be to constantly share their face on social media?" Though my judgments were very singular and may be relatable for some of you readers, I have begun to develop a new sense of appreciation for the results of this phenomenon.
Social media outlets such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest are taking this millennial by storm. Furthermore, these platforms have continued to grow in development. There are now color filters, animation effects, and Bitmojis that have opened the world for people to toy around with these applications. The technology surrounding this visual world of ours has sparked an interest in people to pay more attention to their surroundings as well as enhance it. Though people are still continuing to take selfies, people are certainly reaching new boundaries in capturing moments. In fact, as a spectator, it seems that people have taken on a new interest in photography because of this "selfie movement".
"A picture is worth a thousand words." You may have heard this proverb countless times. As human beings, we are visual people. Sometimes we need to see to believe, understand, and retain. Our eyes were built to visualize a complex spatial setting. With visuals, not only do we just see, but we can also feel too. Nowadays, our reception to visuals has become even more accessible, yet it does not end here. We also have a rating system for others to give a score to our perception of the world in the form of how many "likes" we receive. Though I feel that there is some contention surrounding this aspect, there are some people who have found a satisfaction in utilizing the social media platforms and the advanced camera technology.
I have had a friend who has shared some of her experiences behind and in front of her camera. Selfies did not necessarily initiate her interest n photography; nonetheless, it was a place for her to start. We all fall into those trends whether we openly admit it or not, but learning techniques from that moment of conformity are the most important part. Though her first photo was a selfie, she has told me how it later piqued her interests in finding beauty in the objects around her. Nowadays, rather than having herself or other people in front of the camera, she has taken an interest in taking pictures of landscape and architecture, and just generally ethereal environments. Just look at the picture above!
Just like her, my own mother also feels completely satisfied with the camera technology. Despite liking to be in every picture, she has shared how important sharing pictures on social media is for her. It is not about vanity but rather about preserving a memory, like how you may have felt at that moment or even how perfect the lighting was. The camera on her phone has been a companion in documenting her life. My mother, like my friend, has found the visual world a healing and passionate place. Through a lens, we can truly see how others perceive themselves and the world around them no matter how basic or multidimensional.
Photography is about perception. This is a liberty that is becoming increasingly accessible for people to document and share. Instead of various facets of life, photos might introduce 'fabricated' lives of people trying to depict a perfect body form or image. Nevertheless, this is the point of a perspective.
Many can disagree with me and say that photoshopping software and filters are ruining what we know about beauty standards. Though this may be true in many cases, for some people this is just their point of view. For our own sanity and content, our goal should be to separate our perspective from others while still acknowledging that they exist. There will be people continuing to take pictures of "ideal" beauty standard; however, it has also instilled a passion for many others to pay attention to detail. The truth is, if you want to manipulate something to look better, you need to be keen enough to notice it in the first place.
Going back to the earlier proverb, I would like to extend it and say this it is worth a thousand experiences, sensations, and passions. Many take pictures just for fun and are very good at it because of both the incredible quality in photo-taking technology and their amazing perspectives. There is nothing wrong with appreciating this phenomenon, even if it does just boil down to a selfie.