08 August 2008

Have you noticed that the further we get into our computer-driven lives, the more alone we are? I saw a photo on a social networking site today. You know the kind of website I'm talking about. It's a place you go to socialize so that you don't have to actually go out to interact with others.

Look at this fellow above and to the right. This is one of three pictures he had online. He was all alone in them. And in this photo, he was not only alone but he took it himself. It's hard to hide that when you're home and alone, taking pictures of yourself, using your cellphone in the bathroom. I'm pretty sure that 30 years ago, someone would have told this fellow that such activities can make a guy go blind or at the very least, grow hair on his palms.

This next guy is an example of the very thing I saw on that social networking site. The photograph was titled "cheesy self-portrait. You have one, too. You know you do!" And clearly, this guy did. He took it himself. That's obvious from the angle of his shoulder toward the camera. Well, and the look on his face.

Do you think he would trust anyone else to take this picture with that grin? It's a look of "Hi there... I'm pretending I'm Joe Cool!" I sorta like the look on his face. He's a cute man, right? Clearly, he's willing to take a few risks by posting this photograph at all. He's comfortable in his skin.

But what I find sad is that fewer and fewer of us are willing to smile like that to our friends. We have to be alone to take such pictures. Where are our friends when we are taking pictures? It seems like more and more, we are alone in our photographs and taking them ourselves.

So here we are in 2008, alone in our homes, taking pictures late into the night, posting them on the internet for others to see. And why? In hopes of attracting friends. But who wants to hang out with people who spend all their time alone?

To me, it seems like we're making more of a statement about ourselves by our status in photographs than what we're seen doing. It seems a little sad. I wonder that that we're all alone, lonely, and using cell phones to take pictures in our bathroom mirrors.

And in the end we look at the camera and purse our lips as if to kiss someone. But like usual, no one else is there.

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