Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The taking of "selfies"

The following is a quotation from a book I am reading at the moment.  It is a detective story, and its author has many interesting insights into life.  The book is called Death in the Tuscan Hills by Marco Vichi.  Here he is describing somebody who is leafing through a photo album.
He retired to the kitchen with a box of old family photos…..Photos were ruthless.  They showed moments lost for ever, people long since dead.  They were an attempt to cheat death, a painful illusion, and looking at them made one more aware than ever that time was a mystery.
After looking at them all one by one, he closed the box of memories with a sigh.”
Perhaps, indeed, people’s recent mania for the constant taking of photos, usually of themselves, rather than giving themselves time to observe life at first-hand through their own eyes, is part of an attempt to ”cheat death”, to re-assure ourselves that we are alive.  I observe with some incredulity and much sadness this endless taking of photos, the living of life at one remove which this represents.  So many pieces of electronic equipment, such as smart phones with their numerous gadgets, now put a barrier up between people and the world around them.  I wonder what effect this is having on our personal relationships.
I was also saddened recently to hear that, far from connecting people to one another, as Facebook is intended to do, it can have just the opposite effect, that of isolating people.  I have been told that young girls can now spend hours alone in their rooms taking photo upon photo of themselves until they are satisfied with the one they eventually feel is good enough to send out to the world as their image of themselves.  This is more a case of a disconnect from the world rather than a closer connection to it.



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