Many years ago, the photograph was a physical thing.
Nowadays we live in a digital age. The image has become a series of ones and zeros, which can be shared instantly across the globe. It can be enlarged, edited, colours saturated, edges blurred. It can be enhanced with special effects, have its background changed, detail enhanced. All of this can be achieved in seconds. Methods and means for sharing are many, and once a photograph is out in the social network we lose track of its global journey; who might see it, where, how and when.
When we capture a smile in a photograph, it has an eternal quality. A moment in time is captured in digital form to be shared and enjoyed for ever. It becomes an everlasting smile. Or does it?
The photograph cannot replicate the human experience. The feeling that went with the smile. The sensation of the facial muscles drawing the lips back. The image or experience behind the camera that generated the smile. The joy of the moment. The supporting emotions of fun, love, togetherness, excitement, happiness. It cannot hold within it the sharing. The memories.
Today we have become obsessed by taking the picture. We snap them constantly. Delete the duplicates. Discard the imperfect. Edit them to impress.
Maybe we have forgotten to enjoy the moment? To take in the experience? To absorb the emotion and allow the feeling to wash over us like a wave of liquid happiness? To live the experience and therefore to enrich the memory? Maybe the smile in the moment is the only truly everlasting smile? The one in the now?
Let’s focus on the moment, not on the creation of the ones and zeros.