Notes on Living in a Picture Perfect World


My confession: I’ve sort of spent the last two days being wooed by a rival social media site, namely Instagram. From what I gather, it’s like Twitter but for the illiterate.

Okay, that’s a bit cruel. What I should say, instead, is that people on Instagram use pictures to communicate rather than words. My heartfelt apologies to the illiterate, by the way, also. (Oops, consider the irony if you will that I just spelt illiterate incorrectly, twice! Thank goodness, for autocorrect.)

Whatever, there are those among us who are describing our age as the Age of the Image. And, I suppose, I have been experiencing for myself what it is like to swim in a virtual sea of images, without so much as the hint of a narrative thread to cling on to.

In fact, I risked veritably drowning in pixels to conduct my unsponsored research into the allure of Instagram. And, no, I didn’t type anything rude into my search terms, either. In case you were wondering about my moral propriety.

So, what did I discover? Well, if we are indeed in the Age of the Image, we’re all doomed to a permanent state of pre-verbal idiocy. For the work of the Wordsworths and Coleridges of the digital form are being lost in the maelstrom of ill-conceived and poorly executed self-portraits teenage girls, for one, feel compelled to upload each time they apply fresh makeup in the mirror, apparently.

There’s a bunch of other stuff clogging up the airwaves, too, obviously, like photographic cholesterol. Pictures of people’s tattoos, pets, pectoral muscles, phony gangster poses and, argh, just stuff. Societal detritus.

All right, so I’m starting to worry this is making me sound like an elitist cybersnob. Who’s to say a photo of someone’s belly button piercing isn’t on par with Beethoven’s 5th, 6th or 9th, for that matter?

It’s probably simply the generation gap/chasm widening again the way it does, I know. But when are we going to start seeing the Stravinskys of snapshots or the Ibsens of Instagram, I wonder?

About Lorem Ipsum

Just some guy trying to figure out where the "on" switch is hid on the remote control—ah, forget it. Because, you know what, I'm also the kinda guy who always likes the book waaay more than the movie! View all posts by Lorem Ipsum

2 responses to “Notes on Living in a Picture Perfect World

  • Esoteric Fashion

    Love your enthusiasm and the truth in this post. Instagram, has major flaws of which I’m a victim of. I’ll pretend temporarily that I’ve deactivated the account, and admit it’s a virtual map of clutter. How does an image of someone’s “bellybutton” receive 12345 likes? (shake my head) modern day tactics of popularity.What would Cloris Leachman from the “Roasting of Bob Saget” say about this?

    • Lorem Ipsum

      Thanks, for your thoughts and comment! Firstly, I don’t think anything Cloris Leachman would have to say would be fit to print – she’s one feisty and foulmouthed octogenarian, to be sure. I, too, however, confess to being a victim of the allure of Instagram, as much as I end up shaking my head also at what I mostly see there. Cheers!

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