I hate to start the new year off making such a grouchy post, but I went downtown this year for my city’s festivities and I was so excited to watch the performers and peach drop in person… until my view got blocked by ALL THE PEOPLE trying to record every second of the event through their smartphones!
This is something that is not unique to New Year’s; bands have had similar issues with members of the audience taking videos of their entire concert despite the fact that they are often professionally recorded and distributed. The real kicker is that those trying to record it are often so far from the stage (like what I saw happen tonight) that they have to zoom in so much that the video is blurry beyond recognition.
It’s sad to see so many people living their lives behind a screen perpetually; even when they make an effort to go into the real world, it still has to be through the lens of their smartphone!! I think a lot of people are going to look back decades from now and regret that they weren’t living in the moment. But I suppose as long as the handful of people in their personal circle who care see they were there, that’s what counts, all to the detriment of the rest of us.
I believe that this video is also an excellent example of it.
(Sorry for the Twitter link. I don’t know how to publish it here directly).
The addictive nature of screens, FOMO, and strength of habit… makes for this phenomenon of people feeling the need to record everything. It’s the norm now, so when one isn’t taking pictures constantly, it’s like what is wrong with you lol.
I used to take tons of pictures, especially when my kids were born, because I didn’t want to miss any moments… I rarely look at those pictures, and when I do, there are thousands, and I wonder what was I thinking. Far fewer would have sufficed for memories. Now I have made conscious effort to break this habit, and can see this behavior for what it really is.
I also think it’s sad, and disturbing especially a whole generation of people growing up thinking it is normal behavior to take pictures of every single thing.
I know exactly what you mean. I used to be someone who would take dozens (thankfully I never got to the point of hundreds or even thousands) of photos and videos of events/places I was at. I rarely, if ever, went back and looked at them; it was mostly to post some to social media to prove “hey, I was there!” When I got back into film photography, I found I was far more likely to pull them out and look back on the prints, to cherish the memories more.
Speaking of which, I miss the days when film photography and camcorders were prevalent; you had 24-36 exposures on a 35mm roll of film, which you would have to purchase as well as pay for processing, so each photo was precious and measured. You had to think about what you wanted to capture, not mindlessly take photos throughout an entire event. Camcorders were so bulky that people were similarly mindful of what they brought them to, and even when they were used, people would usually set them up on tripods, hit record, and leave them be as they continued watching the event in person.
For all the benefits that cameras on smartphones have had, I feel they’ve been a net loss. Sure, they can provide evidence of wrongdoing such as assaults on subways, as an example, but even then they’ve made a bystander effect all the more likely as everyone just records the incident without stepping in to help. In other words, as most of us on this forum are aware of, smartphones have turned people into zombies.
I am grateful for riding in the Venice canals so many years ago that nobody had cellphones with built-in cameras. In fact, I did not have a cellphone that worked in Italy. Yes, I had a camera, but I paid attention to the ride, not to the camera. I shared a ride with some people who, as I learned through conversation, lived only a couple of miles from my home – thousands of miles from Venice. This made the ride even more memorable. If we all had our heads buried in smartphones, then we likely would not have had that conversation!
YES! Those were GREAT times. I remember working on my HS yearbook & taking pictures of student life & I had to be very mindful which shots I chose. If I went overboard on some shots, there might not be enough film for later & I might miss a GREAT shot. Less was always more,
Totally agree! I’m sick of it, because it actually spoils the event for me. I come to watch the concert, not to have a stage covered with hundred of phone screens! People have absolutely no manners, no etiquette. Most of the time they don’t even bother to lower the brightness of their screens…:// And most also don’t even watch it afterwards! It’s insane! Did you know that carbon footprint of sending 10 email per day is higher (73kg of CO2) than riding 300km with your car (58kg)?? Imagine the consequences of storing billions of photos and videos in the cloud that most people never watch again…
Yup and NONE of these people will every in their lifetime sit down and watch everything they recorded. They lived their lives looking through a screen recording and taking pics but looking at whatever event they are at through a phone not with their eyes. Very sad
It seems to me that now is such a time that if a person does not have a memorable photograph or video, then he will forget some event or will not be able to prove that it was. Memories have taken the form of photos and videos, and nothing can be done about it. Previously, people wrote personal diaries - now they record an event in the moment
I would disagree. With my kids for instance when I am fully present I can tell you there will be moments I will remember forever BECAUSE, I was not busy taking videos and photos of everything.