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Just Shoot Me

It seems like all the world’s become a photo or video op these days. No moment is safe from the glaring eye of the camera lens. Certainly one of the most amusing parts of all this has to be the build-up to these moments. You’re in a park or on the subway and out of nowhere appears a subject, who will ultimately become the protagonist, gearing up to do something mildly ridiculous that will earn him or her a few thousand YouTube views.

All of a sudden, you start to see people scrambling furiously for their phones in anticipation of the money shot. Then comes a full-on paparazzi swarm around some guy playing his guitar, wearing a thong, and singing Katy Perry covers right in the middle of Washington Square Park.

Cell phone cameras/videos are in full force, capturing every second of the action, and then, just for good measure, there’s always “that guy” using his iPad as a camera — cause that doesn’t look weird or anything…

Oddly enough, the risk of bodily harm doesn’t seem to be a deterrent when it comes to this phenomenon. It appears people would sooner watch someone in distress than intervene if it would in any way compromise the artistic integrity of their next great YouTube video. I remember this one time on the subway, a guy was in the deepest of sleeps, completely out for the count. It was one of those situations where the way he kept swaying back and forth, he could have fallen over at any moment.
Everyone knew that once the train made a really sudden stop it was going to get ugly. Needless to say, there were no less than five phones pointed at this poor guy, filming him sway precariously back and forth. The climatic end would come when the train would make that unexpected stop that would give these aspiring Tarantino’s the gory end scene they were anticipating. It was quite a sight to behold.  

I don’t know which was more intriguing, the guy on the verge of tasting the floor, or the people filming him, salivating at how many YouTube views it was going to earn them. I guess because for us regular folk, YouTube views are our version of the Oscars. They’re the only form of cinematic validation many of us will ever have coming our way. 

Well, eventually the train did make a sudden stop, and yes, the guy did go flying. However, much to the chagrin of his videographers, he didn’t end up falling flat on his face, or getting hurt. It was still pretty funny to watch, but you could see that there was an overwhelming sense of disappointment with the anti-climatic outcome. The closest thing I could compare it to was the mood in a theater at the end of an M. Night Shyamalan movie. 
The other thing that’s really unfortunate is that in many instances, we now choose to overlook the joys of living in a moment, because we’re too preoccupied with trying to capture it. We go to parties, and instead of just having a good time with our friends, we focus on taking pictures to show the rest of the world just how much of a good time we’re having.

We go to see the fireworks on the Fourth of July and New Year’s, but are so preoccupied with capturing it on video that we don’t take the time to bask in the significance of the occasion. Whatever happened to just enjoying the moment and capturing it in the mind’s eye? More often than not, that’s what really counts and makes a lasting impression. Let’s be honest, how many photos or videos when we look back at them actual conjure up the magic of the moment the same way we would have experienced it? I dare say not many.

It’s the curse of the Kodak Moment. Back in the stone age, being limited to 24 exposures meant there was a conscious thought process behind shooting anything, but nowadays there is simply an unconscious reaction to shoot everything. As a result, very few moments actually end up having true impact or significance. Sometimes it’s best to just savor the special moments, because ultimately, the memories we form are what will stand the test of time when the pictures have faded away. That being said, if none of this resonates with you, then by all means shoot away to your heart’s content. Just do us all a favor and please, for the love of Ray J, do not be that guy with the iPad…seriously.

Featured Image by on Pexels

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1 Comment

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    May 10, 2012 at 4:55 am

    I have often had some of these same thoughts. My sister has a toddler and an infant and she is constantly taking photos of them and posting them for the family and friends to view (and we’re grateful, the kids are cute.) But, she does it so often that I think she often forgets to just interact with the kids and savor every moment without turning it into a masterpiece photo op. Some of life’s most precious moments are the ones that you DON’T want to share with all of your friends on your particular brand of social network.

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