The old saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words.” Unfortunately, in this age of mobile digital devices, a picture has been severely devalued -- maybe worth a couple of syllables.
I am a lover of technology and have helped market and promote some of the most popular tech products in the history of the world (slight exaggeration, but you get what I mean). Personal computers, notebooks tablets, cell phones/mobile devices and more have improved our lives in numerous ways.
But, there is a downside to everything and one of the worst related to our new mobile toys is the fact that every cell phone/mobile device is equipped with a camera. The result, everything that happens everywhere has become picture-worthy. Just one example: you cannot go to a sporting event, concert, Broadway show, etc. without someone nudging you, handing your their cell phone and asking you to take a picture of him/her with spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, kids, etc. Then, 20 minutes later, these awful, usually out of focus pictures end up on Facebook, Twitter and whatever other social media outlet the person frequents.
Then there are those who have to take pictures of everything, wherever they are. "Oh, look at the cute color of that house. I need a picture." "Oh, I really love that car. I need a picture." "Oh look, the Apple store. I must get a picture." “Wow, this road pavement is amazing. I really need to get a picture." You get my drift. And guess what? 20 minutes later, every one of these uninteresting pictures shows up somewhere on the internet.
We also have the wildlife section. Whenever anyone sees a deer, fox, or wild turkey, out comes the cell phone and up goes the picture on the internet. And of course, anything and everything that our pets do certainly deserves to be photographed and preserved forever on the Internet (Hmm, is photograph even a word anymore?)
I honestly cannot believe the things some people think make great picture subjects. They use their cell phones to take pictures of graffiti on walls, traffic on the highway, food, storm clouds, three hailstones on their back deck that fell in the afternoon thunder storm, and on and on and on. But, nothing beats the multitude of pictures of food: “Hey, look what I had for breakfast, lunch or dinner.” Or, “Wow. Doesn’t this food I am barbecuing look so good?” Just this weekend alone, on Twitter, I saw at least 10 pictures of food someone was either cooking or eating. I just don’t get it. Who cares?
Camera-equipped cell phones have been put to good use – during the recent riot in Vancouver after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup, many of the culprits were identified after cell phone pictures were turned over to the police – but for the most part they have only resulted in pictures on the Internet about which no one cares. I miss the days when photography required great skill, but am resigned to the fact that everyone will continue to click at everything, clogging the web with more pictures that no one wants to see.