Memories, Past: Don't memories change? Over time, what you see in your mind's eye changes? You are aware of the consequences and what happens over time. You look at photos of yourself from the past and you notice things you didn't notice then.
When you take the photos, you think you might be capturing one thing, but later you realize that something much different has been captured. Your carefree expression; your stupid hairstyle; your trendy clothes that look fruity now; your self as skinny or fat; or your youth and what you were doing...then.
Memories, Present: When you take photos, you lose the moment itself in the effort to be the voyeur and to caputure memories. You take yourself out of the experience life to view it and frame it for later. You cease to be the participant, and instead become a creator, a producer, a memory-maker.
Memories, Mixed-Up: We took two of our three children to re-experience, now as grown-ups, something they had experienced as children. Then, we didn't have cameras with us. Then, Dad wasn't there. How they experienced the re-run was completely different. It was an effort in posing as well as an experience in fun, all wrapped in the excitement of capturing what had once been an outsized memorable adventure. The moments captured were more fun than the moments-as-lived, right then, as we experienced it. We replayed the moment immediately afterwards to find the best shot. The fun of the seen shot was better than the moment itself.
Memories, Quixotic: When capturing the present for online presentation, living and life itself becomes an exercise in creative production. At least that is what I've found with my daughters. For me, I captured photos for sharing with close friends and family and the element for presentation was the well-maintained scrapbook. For my children, the scrapbook no longer tangible, but is an online venture, with personal photos posted for friends and acquaintances but knowing the self as posted online is never a private thing. It can be public for the whole world and just knowing that makes self-presentation and self-editing an incursion into how we live. Cameras, with phones, can capture anything most anytime, most anywhere. Such is the self in the moment as captured for and posted on Facebook.
Worldwide audiences: In June 2008 Facebook has 132,105,000 users (up over 80 million from June '07)and MySpace has 117,582,000 (up three million from June '07) according to Comscore. MySpace was the world leader a year ago but the surge in Facebook users is attributed to worldwide growth as the U.S. audience is already saturated (49 million U.S. users).
There are times when I want the cameras and the phones and the blackberries turned off and left out of the moment. It doesn't happen much anymore when we are gathered together.