jeffsoesbe (jeffsoesbe) wrote,

pictures in the modern world

E has a cell phone now. I've been watching how she uses it, as a part of my interest in how people (especially kids) use technology, and I'm come to some thoughts regarding the role of pictures.

When I was young, pictures were delayed. You took a picture and it stayed in the little box (camera film) until you finished the role and took the film to be developed. A few days later, you got back your picture. Instamatic pictures came along and then you had pictures that were immediate. But they weren't cheap - my next point.

Pictures were also expensive. You only had a certain number of pictures that could be in the little box (film), so you tried to choose your pictures wisely and carefully. I still remember my disappointment when I accidentally left the lens cap on the camera during a school field trip and wasted a whole roll of pictures.

With digital cameras (in cell phones) and large amounts of computer memory, pictures are immediate and essentially free. On the way to/from the orthodontist, E took pictures of the following: the sky, several signs, random people, jamba juice, and dresses in a magazine. Who knows if she'll do anything with them beyond leave them on the phone or put them on the computer, but she basically has immediate and infinite access to pictures.

The other picture-related event that brought some thoughts was when I watched the the "U2:3D" concert film. When the members of the band walked out on the portions of the stage that went into the audience all you saw was tons of hands thrust forward, holding cell phones and taking pictures. Everyone has a cell phone, so you can take a picture everywhere.

So, pictures are immediate, free, and everywhere. I'm sure people say "well, duh" to this revelation. But I still think it's interesting in terms of how technology infuses our lives and what dramatic changes occur as a result.
Tags: interesting, society, technology

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