I have nothing against technology. Like The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon, I’m a fan of anything that minimises human contact. So, you will not find me sharing those ‘switch-off-and-smell-the-coffee-and-body-odour-of-your-best-friend’ type ads on Facebook, clearly missing the irony. I’m not on Instagram because I don’t see the point of constantly training my phone camera on my coffee. I’ve tried getting on Pinterest, but it seems to me to be a more restricted form of Facebook. However, I’m on everything else.
Now, I don’t get why one has to validate a social media platform by sharing personal photographs. I only post photographs when I want to commemorate a special event; or, when I’m starting a new flirtation, and want the man to fall in love with me by glancing through artistically blurred images.
Unfortunately, the rest of the world does not appear to be this way. There are these serial photographers, for whom the mobile phone camera appears to be the greatest invention since the wheel. You can’t do anything without them wanting a picture of it. Worse, you can’t eat anything without them wanting a picture of it. I made the mistake of once going on holiday with one such woman. Needless to say, we don’t talk anymore. But here’s what I learned:
[quote]Every time we went to a tourist spot, I had about five minutes to look around and absorb the air, so to speak[/quote]
The same setting, where the subject is wearing the same clothes, can look dramatically different from different angles:
Every time we went to a tourist spot, I had about five minutes to look around and absorb the air, so to speak. For the rest of the time, I would have to move, one foot at a time, in a circle around her, at various spots. She would return the favour by reciprocating it, at her insistence. I don’t have a camera smile, and so I look like I’m grinning at gunpoint, or getting ready to snarl – both of which may have been true. I also have very little memory of where we actually went. Thankfully for me, I suppose, she also has filtered images of name boards at each tourist spot.
Food tastes better when it has been photographed:
Our breakfast conversations were a less honest version of the following:
She: What the hell are you doing, having your coffee and your bread before I can artistically photograph it, eh?! I don’t have a morning photograph to post on Facebook now.
I: Oh, damnit. I’m so sorry. Would you like me to order another one, so we can photograph before I destroy it?
She: No, the moment’s gone.
I: There was a moment?
She: Yeah, and it’s gone. But now that I’m pouting, it’s selfie-time
Unless you’re a dinosaur, you ought to be able to take a selfie. I’m sure Moses and Jesus took desert selfies. In fact, it was one of the commandments, but some idiot translator didn’t know the Aramaic for ‘selfie’:
The reason I hate selfies is not just that I can’t take them. When I pout, I look like I’m about to start or complete a yawn; in selfies, my face looks crooked – I don’t know how I do that, but I do.
But not everyone is me. Apparently, American television is bringing in a new show called Selfie – because obviously, now that Mad Men will soon end, we don’t have enough entertainment. According to CNN, this is what the show is about: “A woman realises that having social media friends can’t substitute for the real thing, and asks a marketing expert to help her “rebrand” and learn how to build IRL connections.”
Going by the description, that show ought to be called Facepalm.
Everything looks better with a filter:
Even a name board. ‘Taj Mahal’ on white marble is so boring, duh. Let’s make it blue, so it matches the sky, and gets more likes when we post it on Instagram.
Theek. Do what you will, for your fellow Instagrammers. Or is it Instagrammors? I can’t even figure out why Instagram is called so, leave alone what its acolytes go by. But why must you put this damn filter on it when you take the photograph? Or even more inexplicably, before you send it to me? I’d really rather have the white marble Taj Mahal, with its layer of industrial grime.
I’d also rather have my fuschia shawl not look like something I picked up by the roadside and then put through a couple of machine washes.
As if it weren’t bad enough that one has to learn these rules, there are severeal more unwritten ones. When they post their 500-odd pictures on Facebook at the end of the day and tag you on it, you must immediately like each picture individually, and the album too. That’s basic etiquette. If you haven’t liked it for a few days, they’ll remind you that they have posted it.
I wondered what would happen when her phone battery died. I found out. She borrowed mine for the last batch of photographs, and then made a long-distance call that swallowed up all my balance.
“You should charge your phone,” she said, disapprovingly, “And why are you still on prepaid?”