I was cleaning out the closet in my office the other day and came across two cameras. Both would be considered antiquated at this point since smartphones seem to have taken their place. It is now possible to take pictures at a moment’s notice wherever you are. As a result, picture-taking has become epidemic. I am on Facebook and there are hundreds of photos that stream through the newsfeed on a daily basis. The types of photos cover a variety of people, places and things. But what really got my attention is a new type of picture called a “selfie.” A selfie is a photo someone takes of themselves. Often the self-portrait has a remark under it. ”Thelma likes the picture of herself.” Then if Thelma is lucky, several other people will admire the new picture and add their accolades.
I would love to see just once someone who had the nerve to say, “You know this picture of you is lousy!” I doubt whether anyone will do that, since it wouldn’t be kind, but when is enough enough? I’m sure I’m going to be perceived as “not being with it,” but we certainly have moved into an era that is totally in love with self-aggrandizement. It seems we not only like to talk about ourselves, but we also need to have pictures of ourselves that are everywhere. I guess it makes sense if we forget what we look like.
My family has always accused me of not being photo conscious, and I’m in total agreement with them. I honestly don’t think about taking pictures. My family of origin wasn’t into it. Most photos were taken by a photographer on special occasions. I also don’t think it’s necessary to have a hundred shots of a group of people at a gathering unless it’s a wedding, funeral or an affair of state. Here’s Aunt Wilma, sitting next to Uncle Harry. Now here she is drinking her iced tea. Oh, look, here she is under the table pretending to be a monkey.
Believe me, I think that having the ability to reflect on great memories through the eye of a camera is truly fabulous. But at the end of our lives, will there be someone who will have the time and energy to sort through and archive the mountains of pictures? Or would allowing ourselves to be more discerning in our picture taking make sense? After all, isn’t one picture worth a thousand words?
Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Mass. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360. Email her, visit her website at www.stressed.com or call 800-998-2324.