I decided to bring you a different post today and write down some thoughts that I’ve had.
Since I bought a new Android phone, I’ve been using Instagram – and, of course, succumbed to the power of the selfie! Now, both Instagram and selfies are very controversial topics and I have to say I understand both sides of the argument. What I wanted to bring to you, though, is a perspective that isn’t considered very often: the power of documentation these tools give us.
Just think about your grandparents. They were lucky if they got their picture taken more than five times in the course of their life. Your parents probably got a lot more pictures than that, especially if they are from a younger generation. But now, what about you? You probably have access to at least two or three different types of cameras (video, photographic, phone cameras…) and get to store your pictures either on a digital device or on the actual internet (hello, unlimited storing space!). You have the easiest time, up until now, to document your outfits, your hairstyle, your makeup, your hobbies, your passions, your relationships, your achievements and your heartbreaks… In sum, yourself and your life. Don’t you find that fascinating?
Of course we can point out some less fortunate aspects to this. For example, most people only post the “happy side” of their lives, so you can feel like your life isn’t as full or as accomplished as theirs – when the truth is they struggle as much as you, but they just don’t post that on Instagram. There’s definitely a popularity obsession and there might even be a bit of a narcissist obsession in it for some people… But honestly? The stories I’ve mostly heard are about people who learned to love their faces, their bodies, their personalities, their little quirks and their lives through selfies. People who, through Instagram, got the positive feedback they couldn’t give themselves when they looked in the mirror. Could that be addictive? Sure, but it is a start for them, an encouragement to love themselves.
I also find it very interesting that the future generations will have so much access to our daily lives (unless, you know, the Internet breaks down or something). There will be literally thousands or millions of examples of our fashion trends, of our interests, of the things we did everyday… Our children (probably unlike us, who only got a few picture albums) will have access to a lot of our lives before they came along, so they might get to know us a bit better and feel like they can relate to us some more.
But who knows, really? There is so much potential in this new form of self-documentation that it can go either way! As with anything, it’s a tool that will have upsides and downsides. But it certainly is something new and fascinating, and I’m looking forward to the outcome. What about you?