Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A picture is worth a thousand words. We've all heard this classic cliche a million times, but have we ever sat down and really thought about it? While I think it's original conception was more in relation to the fact that a picture can speak for your actions or intentions, it seems like it has morphed into meaning that pictures can replace not only our words but our memories.
My friend Alicia! 

When I visited Iguazu Falls (I swear I'll find something to talk about besides Argentina someday) one of the things that struck me the most, besides how beautiful it was, was that almost everyone was viewing it through a camera lens or phone screen. It was almost a challenge to find anyone over the age of 10 that was actually just looking at the Falls themselves.

I find it strange that even when you have something beautiful and wonderful right in front of us, we still are more focused on capturing it in something permanent to keep for later. Are we really that desensitized that we would rather look at a picture of something incredible than feel the mist hit your face or enjoy the way the light prisms make little rainbows that your iPhone can't possibly capture?

This does nothing to capture how incredible it was!

In the year 2014 we took close to 1 trillion pictures. That sounds like a number that Dr. Evil would ask the President to give him to stop him from blowing up the moon. It sounds ridiculous! But how does 1 trillion pictures translate to our life experiences? Did we enjoy these moments more? Are our memories stronger and more solid? I can't help but doubt that.

While pictures can capture the way we looked and what we were doing it can't capture the way that moment made you feel. It can't tell you the significance of the situation. It can't replace the emotional imprints in your mind.

So maybe it's time that we put the camera/phone/ipad. Instead of trying to catch the moment, let it just exist. Even if a picture is worth a thousand words, it doesn't translate into a thousand little thoughts and feelings and moments you may be missing out on when you try to look at it through your camera lens.