Written by Kristyn Ewing. Media by Kristyn Ewing and Kelsey Middleton.
The camera on our phones captures moments that are so easy to get with a press of a button. Pictures fill up the storage space on our phones at such rapid speeds. For example, taking photos, such as selfies, has become more of a necessity, rather than enjoyment. It’s convenient and easy with 24/7 access to apps to do whatever we desire with the photos we take. We use social media apps to share the moments captured by photos for family, friends, and even the world to see. The real question is: by placing too much of our personal moments/photos on social media, do others then become unsocial toward us?
Not only as a Digital Media major but as someone who loves living in the moment, the concept of taking photos as a way to capture a moment I can be reminded of years later is fascinating. This quote is fitting: “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” I see life as a precious gift and to be able to take images, share, and save them is really neat.
I have found that photography isn’t a distraction, but rather a decision how and with whom I share the photography. There’s a quote that says “The best things in life can’t be captured in a photograph.” Photographs capture moments, but they can’t capture true feelings/vulnerability in moments in our lives—every photo has a story behind it.
I am one of the millions of consumers who have used social media to share photographs. With the option of social media, my viewers decide how to react to the photos posted—like, comment, and/or share. In the past, I have posted a great abundance of photos which covered a wide range and variety of life. I have come to understand this reality: the more photos I post of my life, the more permission I give the world to assume they know about my life—which isn’t always the case.
In the last year of my life, a handful of people viewing my social media have stopped asking how my life is going in person. Instead, they have a loss for words and don’t engage with me. This has impacted me because I enjoy being in fellowship with people, especially in person. I have found myself questioning the reasons behind their actions. I love photography, yet being face-to-face with someone who assumes they know all about my life because of photos I’ve posted on social media is unfortunate and troubling.
In this day and age, many have become unsocial and assume people’s lives based on their social media instead of engaging and socializing. For me, when someone is present with me and struggles to talk or lacks eye contact, I’m left feeling ignored, unaccepted and unwanted, which affects my self-esteem.
I love taking and sharing photos on social media for my viewers. What matters to me isn’t how my viewers react to what I post, but rather that they socialize with me outside of social media, desiring to hear the stories behind the photos. I might be old fashioned in regards to wanting to have meaningful conversations, but I am relevant when it comes to keeping up on social media.With photos capturing moments and people assuming the stories behind the images, we lose the fullness of expressing ourselves and communicating to our full potential. I’ve come to terms with the need to retrain my brain to accept that I don’t need an instant connection on social media to fill the void of unsocial people in my life—I can’t mentally handle it. Can you?