Thanks to technology. Anonymous social media posts from anywhere in the world can go viral. It facilitates human’s need to be seen and sparks a new trend of content sharing. It helps us discover great restaurants to eat, places to visit and events to participate that are otherwise unlikely to be discovered.
Convenience is all good until it’s abused. It’s when the proof of something we’ve done outweighs the actual experience, we begin to cross things off our checklist mindlessly. How many people nowadays travel for social media posts rather than savoring the experience?
What surprised me the other day is that I met a guy who walked outside of a tourist spot and took a bunch of selfies without going to check what’s inside the spot at all. The time he spent on getting his bearings right is probably enough to have a quick visit of the place to know a bit about its history and what makes it popular. He’s literally a step away from the scenery, while his mind seems to be wandered hundreds miles away.
I can’t stop questioning the purpose of his visit. Imagine a painting without meaning that any amateurs can create and call it as self expression, would we consider it as a form of art? Probably not. For social influencers, those selfies could be used to engage with their followers and it’s part of their job. But for the vast majority of travelers, it seems meaningless. As meaningless as gorging food without savoring the ingredients, or attending symphonies without listening to the music.
What are you going to recall when revisiting the photos 2 months after? Absolutely not the cocky smile. Technology should be an enhancement of our life experience not a substitution. Just like car is no replacement for walking, social media is no replacement for in-person contact, camera is no replacement for experience. It’s crazy that sometimes those who scream most about keeping it real are doing exact the opposite.
Last but not least, you don’t need a camera if you simply want a digital presence on a photo. Thanks to technology.