Experience the world through cameras, cell phones, and laptops

A family of three tourists, all armed with cameras, were taking photos of each other on Michigan Avenue. It’s not a rare occurance. People are always taking photos in front of Tribune Tower, but what was striking was that all three had cameras and all three were actively taking photos. Usually it’s just one person taking all the photos.

Everyone was having their experience of Chicago through their camera. The camera was a means of communicating with each other. Just like talking with someone with words, these people communicated through their image-taking.

It just seemed really odd.

Got me to thinking about how we experience the world through our devices. We like our devices. We like to stare at phones on the train. We like to stare at computers and at facebook.

When we take photos, we think it’s more of capturing the moment. Capturing the scene. Being able to archive a memory. But after seeing that family, it seems to me the act of taking the photo is more important than the photo itself. All these photos we take, how many actually get posted online. Or put into a photo album. I have thousands of photos that nobody else has seen.

but I enjoy taking them.

Just as we like to experience the world through a screen on our laptops and phones. We also like to experience the world as it appears in our camera screen. Our camera screen becomes how we see things. We relate to the camera. We like to see how things look on the camera.

The camera is consistent. It shows the world as it is. It frames it out into a nice digestable screen. We enjoy the consistency. The integrity. The regularity of how the camera screen shows the world.

As we have this relation and connection to our devices, we can also begin to understand why we get so frustrated when they start to behave slowly. They aren’t behaving in the ways we’d like.

This nice digestable world that our cell phone cameras displayed now behaves differently and it’s frustrating.

I wish there was a conclusion to this, but that’s all for now.

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