December 16, 2004

Media overload

Too much of a good thing. I can’t tell you how much this hits the nail directly on the head for me. After the wedding we pooled everyone’s memory cards into a collection of over 6000 photos. Weeding through all of them to edit out the bad and save the good was a daunting task. It stole all of the magic from the photos and the moment.

These days after a party I get 3 or 4 emails to visit people’s flicker or shutterfly galleries. Enviably each gallery contains the exact same moment of time from a slightly different perspective— the standard group shot with multiple cameras capturing it. Instead of taking time to enjoy and absorb each photo, I breeze through them and usually give up half way through the slideshow.

When I worked on Kodak at Ogilvy we tried to define snapshots as “social currency.” Every group has one person that always has some choice snapshots to give you (that’s you, Maura) that make you feel good. That’s the payoff. Now that everyone has a digital camera, and everyone has an online gallery, I get overwhelmed with hundreds of photos of the same moment. And for some reason, under or over exposed photos that you would have tossed out at the photomat seem to be acceptable if they’re posted to the web.

I miss holding in my hands high gloss prints with little white borders. This brings me back to my storage problems. What will we have in 20 years? A shoebox of prints and negatives? Or corrupt CDRs and defunct storage devices chocked full of imprisoned memories.

I can’t even begin to get started on the overload of digital music. I have so much music, I don’t know what to listen to anymore. I now listen to less music than I did 2 years ago.


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