Scarlet Letter

Ethan Giles, Editor in Chief

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Digital cameras have killed spontaneity.

Don’t get me wrong, the ability to easily take a picture and upload it to multiple platforms is incredibly useful and helpful in today’s modern world. I could not imagine being the editor-in-chief of this paper and having to rely on non-digital cameras. I have no idea what the process was before digital cameras, and I really do not want to know.

That being said, digital cameras allow us to capture a “perfect” moment. If our first attempt at a picture comes out a little blurry, or Jim has a weird look on his face, we can take another. If that one is imperfect we can take a third, a fourth, a fifth, and so on. But this is an illusion: perfectly still moments do not exist. We are moving beings, and unless one of us has a supernatural power I do not know of, we are never truly still. Even when we sleep we breathe. This isn’t a deep or interesting revelation, but it is obviously true.

Additionally, digital cameras (mostly cell phones) give us the ability to constantly showcase our lives. We go to events, take pictures, and upload them to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like to show our friends the many cool things we do. We photograph every moment, rather than sitting back and enjoying it. I imagine that before digital cameras people took photos to commemorate moments, but could not take unlimited photos, and therefore took them sparingly. The combination of social media and digital cameras makes us feel that every moment must be documented or else it will fall into the abyss of human memory, never to be seen again.

If we spend our lives documenting moments, moments do not happen. Posing for pictures isn’t real life and neither is hiding behind a camera. Spending time with your friends creates memories. Not every memory needs to be photographed, uploaded, and commented on.