Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Picture is NOT Worth 1000 Words

The short week following labor day has made me realize 2 things: 1) I am officially over gladiator sandals and 2) a (Facebook) picture is not worth 1000 words.

After gazing at dozens of uploaded last-blast celebrations hitting Facebook this week I couldn't help but wonder if all these "Fun Times @ Fire Island"-esque albums represent the reality of our lives. Are we really having that much fun or are these manufactured "images" that we want others to see?

Recently a close bud was caught in a Gossip-Girlsesque ring when he was "spotted" in a series of photos taken while he was away with a plutonic friend.

From the classic face-to-face hand held shots to strategically cropped beach photos with dualing Ray-bans the "e"-vidence was there. When a romanTECH interest confronted him about these pics his answer was suprisingly enlightened: What you don't see on Facebook is what I was thinking and feeling all weekend. I'm not sure he realized it, but he was on to something. Our photos don't really tell the true stories of our lives and experiences. Instead they allow us to construct an "image" of our experiences that is cropped, edited, tagged and ultimately debuted to a very interested audience -- our "friends" -- that have opted in. An album of Facebook photos provides a glimpse into 30 seconds over the course of three days. What it portrays can be as easily manipulated as editting 3 weeks of "reality" into 30 minutes of "reality TV." And if reality TV mirrored reality then The Hills would need to be a full hour so they would have enough time to create front-braids in Lauren Conrad's hair between scenes.

So what is the point? Maybe all the photo uploading is making us a generation of "posers" -- people more concerned with capturing and uploading the right moment then living it.


  1. perfectly articulated my dear A...I am so sick of the picture perfect beach shot that only shows neck and ocean and leaves the "bad parts" out. Life is so much more real then this and I am beginning to believe that all the beauty in life is being cropped out and erased from the facebook...

    It would be fun to see a facebook that illustrates a real end of the summer weekend filled with bad barbeque and cloudy plastic beer cups.

  2. Then there are those of us are "over-ex-posers." Nothing like a pic-within-a-pic -- or should I say "tat within a pic" to drum up photo comments from passive folks who have be-friended us but never send us a wink, nod, or hatching egg. The pic of my Labor Day inked tattoo (it looked as if I was auditioning for a role on Miami Ink: The Austin Edition) elicited a chorus of "Never in a million years would I have thought you of all people would get a tattoo." Is that supposed to be a compliment?

  3. We live in a world increasingly dominated by Image (I recommend The Image by Boorstin)