One of those striking phenomena of today’s world is the common practice among people to take pictures. In almost every place I visit, the chances of seeing motionless people, putting a smile on their face for a second, or maybe less, facing another motionless human being raising hands and holding a camera, are becoming close to hundred percent.
In the mall, on the streets, in supermarkets, restaurants, bars, pubs, concerts, birthday gatherings… taking photos has become an integral part of life. The viral spread of this habit raises lots of questions and I cannot but just wonder… why?! What makes people so eager to voluntarily freeze their moments? Understanding this tendency requires a thorough understanding of people’s perception towards photography as well as an understanding of how technology and social media have become the bright shadow of our intimate life.
Taking a picture goes far beyond pausing, smiling, and counting, until we hear that click.
Taking a picture… is like holding a breath and never letting it go. It’s like catching a bird and uniting it with a cage. It’s like mummifying a smile, so that it never sorrows. It’s like seizing a second and transforming it to an eternity. As if that click, can immortalize the present to transcend the upcoming ages. Why do we thirst for that click? Why do we let that click apprehend our movement, agility, gestures… even if for a quick second?!
Perhaps we imagine that years after, we would hold that picture and remember we had a past. Perhaps we fear forgetting that once upon a time, we lived those moments. Perhaps we want to prove we existed, to all unborn generations. Perhaps we avoid living Today and prefer to remember it tomorrow. Perhaps we wish to leave an imprint, that never dies when we do. Perhaps we polish our melancholy, by drawing everlasting smiles in photographs.
“A picture is worth a thousand words”! But is it necessary? Perhaps some would believe that if it captures the truthfulness of the emotions we live, and does not falsify reality by reinforcing pretentious behaviours and fake attitudes one demonstrates in it, making memories… with a click… can be considered as an act of admiration to the present. But perhaps, just like a phoenix arising from the dead and regenerating from ashes, memories born from genuine moments can arise from the past…! And in that sense, memories do not need to be detained… for true memories… are born to live.