Monday, 29 March 2010

Guest Post: Social Media, "the ultimate stormer"

As promised, there is a guest post today, in response to my post on social media and how it impedes, or rather, is allowed to impede upon life experiences and moments that a couple years ago, we revelled in, and enjoyed in its essence. This is a topic that resonates with a lot of people and I am glad to have another perspective. Thanks to GWTO for his take on how the social media phenomenon is taking over our lives. (You can also follow him out on Twitter: @gwto)


I read the "Social Media - The other ball and  chain" post on this blog, and I found myself nodding along with it, simply because it put into words exactly what I've been thinking for a long time. Facebook has indeed become "the ultimate stormer, wedding crasher and boldfaced guest."

But it got me thinking about my ultimate pet peeve: people who take photos at sporting events and concerts. For full disclosure, I will point out that I've been guilty of this up until a year ago. And I'm not against the concept of people taking photos at these things per se. It's the people who do it incessantly. The people who spend long periods of time snapping, looking down at the viewfinder, and snapping again, thus beginning a long cycle of snapping, then looking down, snapping, then looking down, snapping then looking down before you feel the urge to rip the camera from their fingers and scream at them, "Look at the stage/field/court!" And don't even get me started on the people who take video of the event and upload ridiculously poor quality ten second clips to Youtube.

But I digress.

The truth is that it really doesn't bother me during the event itself. But it's the professional photos afterwards that suffer. Let's take a look at Steven Gerrard's goal celebration during Liverpool's 4-1 mauling of Manchester United last season at Old Trafford. Gerrard scored and celebrated in front of Manchester United's support, so you would expect to see angry faces in the crowd behind him as he kissed the camera.

But look at the woman on the left and the man in between Gerrard and the camera. Did that goal stab them through the heart? No. They don't care. They just wanted the best shot possible so they could go home, upload it, and sit patiently waiting for people to "like" it.

So I've vented and I've plugged Liverpool Football Club. You might wonder what my point is, and what this has to do with Social Media. And the answer? Not much. But if you take anything away from this post, let it be this: Social Media is great, wonderful, and fantastic. But don't let it interfere with the special experiences in real life. If you're at a wonderful event, you really don't need to record every moment of it. I promise you that they'll stay in your memories. Honestly. They will. Leave the photography to the professionals.

And, (shameless plug alert) while you're at it you should take part in my Project 2010. :-)

(Photo from the Telegraph;


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