It’s always refreshing to see Instagram users who are trying something different, who are using the platform to explore their creativity instead of posting endless food porn.
Not only are we drowning in photos, the conformity of images is ruining the art of photography.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are countless apps for editing your photos and videos to make them stand out from others in the feed. VSCO offers some unique filter capabilities but apps like Hyperspektiv and Photofox transform your photos into something unique by mixing elements of graphics and paint.
Adding interesting captions is another way to differentiate ourselves from the crowd. Tell people what the image is about or give a unique interpretation of what the eye can’t see. Even better, bewilder the viewer and keep them guessing. Like photos, all writing is in the edit.
Give everyone a camera and the stage, and they’ll exploit it just like everybody else. The upshot is a mass experience that mostly dulls expression. Scratch it up, discolor the frame; dare to be different.
One day we’re going to miss the powerful silence of the natural world, the way it smells and begs for an inquisition. That’s because “most people are on the world, not in it,” wrote the father of national parks John Muir.
In putting a “fence around nature,” we lock ourselves into a secluded wall of emotional current.
Nature nurtures, it humbles our deepest desires. Because we can’t control the skies, nor the mercurial blob of ourselves, we must give in to nature’s fickleness and beauty.
We’re going to be shocked when we wake up from digital’s second life and realize that becoming also means embracing the evolving whims of those things around us. We are overpowered by the Earth’s forces.
If you want to remember a vacation, you’re almost better off framing a picture rather than just posting it on your Instagram feed.
According to recent research, owning a physical photo is more likely to encourage someone to share their experience with others. It turns out that digital images are terrible cues.
“Back in the old days, we’d wait until we finished a roll of film and then bring it to the store to get printed. So waiting for the pictures kept the experience top of mind. Then, we’d take the pictures around to our friends one by one (or group by group) and get to share our experience over and over again. Now, we simply post it on social media once and we’re done.”
However, it’s not all digital media’s fault. It’s also our dwindling attention spans driven by the urge to consume what’s next. To echo Om Malik in a recent New Yorker piece: “We have come to a point in society where we are all taking too many photos and spending very little time looking at them.”
Apps like Timehop and Facebook’s “One year ago today” feature attempt to revitalize old posts to conjure up past memories. I personally recommend reviewing “On this Day” in Day One journal, not just for vacation recall but also to gain perspective on all life’s milestones, ups, and downs.
Whether it’s in the form of a framed photo, a souvenir, or relived Facebook post, you can extend any fond memory with subtle reminders.
We never know where we’re going until we get there. Sprinkles of clues pique our curiosity along the way, our mind attracted to them like a magnet.
Gathering years, we take in ideas, perspectives, and discover insights. The mind hunts for grains in the obvious, the obscure, both in the environment and in other people’s minds. Gathering string, we lace it through the freedom of trial and error.
Propelled by the unknown road ahead, we keep walking through the maze of uncertainty. Thoughts simmer in the back of our minds.
It is the contradictions that always make the journey more interesting. A hesitant radical, we dissect what’s clear and unclear in unquenchable persistence.