I only ask because it’s become so fashionable. Everyone takes them, from politicians to rock stars to the Average Joe; and then they post them online, “See me, here I am.”
Most of the time I’m not even looking for anyone, but I become intrigued by the crooked smile or the dimples, so I click on a photo and read.
But what I’d really like to know is what happened to those cartoon avatars? You remember the ones; we had a choice when you signed onto a website. And it didn’t matter which avatar you picked, because it was only a feeble attempt at representation. Besides, back then we hid behind our anonymity, and procrastinated when the technology changed over to thumbnail photos. And despite our wishes, it caught on and stayed.
Technology doesn’t care about shyness or looks or even who uses it; so we all had to rise above self-esteem issues.
Reluctantly, we changed our avatars to real photos. At least most of us did, and we laughed at ourselves, without worry of consequence. It was extraordinary.
Because that’s the beauty of technology, that even the most introverted or bashful person can be popular on social media. With thousands of Followers on Twitter and Likes on Facebook, another story can be told; a Start-up can be funded and a floundering business revitalized. Just by posting a Selfie there, or Pinterest or Instagram. A cliché comes to life, that yes a picture can and does paint a thousand words.
According to cognitive research psychologists, the only downside of mindlessly snapping photos is that the human brain can’t retain what it hasn’t fully processed or seen; it’s the opposite effect of a photographic memory. That is, you’re not going to remember details of the photo you took, because you let the camera do the work for you.
Ah, but what does that matter? The whole world is doing it! And there are so many platforms to display your Selfies and Clouds to store them all. And if it does come to fruition that it does matter, we’ll probably be old and senile.
And then, in that moment, in the Coming Age of Exposure, who’ll notice? Again, we’ll smile. Perhaps, a little more like the Mona Lisa smile, smug. And we’ll sing like Madonna… “Strike a pose- Vogue.”