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Monday, 6 February 2017

Life through a lens

Recently I attended So Frenchy So Chic, a music and food festival celebrating all things French. I noticed that a lot of the 'activities' to pass the time involved taking photos for Social Media - screen shots 'in' New Caledonia, sitting in a boat or in front of the Renault yellow balloons, or simply before the giant letters with the harbour background. It's a day out for beautiful people, so I didn't really think about it.

What did surprise me, was when later in the week, I attended the Opera House and in the foyer was a pretend opera box with props to take your photo in, and a long queue to do just that. When you walked into the auditorium, there was the hashtag being promoted. Apparently my opinion that the obsession with Social Media and selfies was a young person's game, was unfounded.

I've been coming to the conclusion that the way we see the world has changed. This focusing on our presentation of the world has to have an affect on the way we view ourselves in it.  In the past, I read an article that stated the top reason for choosing a travel destination was the most instagrammable. More recently there was an article that 20% of your travel was on history and interest and 80% was on taking photos for your SM feed.  I was once invited to an event with the most instragrammable food. I declined because I didn't know if we would be allowed to eat it and was too embarrassed to ask.

I was considering a very pricey dinner for Valentine's Day, but was surprised they advertised the opportunity for 'picture perfect moments illuminated by fairy lights' and the photobooth before they mentioned the lobster they were serving for the meal. They're very savvy marketers so they know what appeals and in what priority, so I think this is an indication of the seismic shift in what is important to the population.

I have gone to restaurants and events, purely lured by the appealing SM of it. Not because I wanted to create that social media, but the photos were enticing and made me want to seek out the experience. I think it was Marc Best (of Marque fame) said in an article that 90% of people take photos of their meal, and 50% of those post them online. Most of the people who go to the restaurant now have been lured by Social Media (of their friends or the PR effort). So I understand why businesses want it done, and I also understand why people want to share great experiences with their friends. If we do something fun, we want our friends to do it too.

My questions is, how much is it shaping our view of the world and our role in it? Clearly, by the travel statistics it is changing us. It has to be changing how we experience our life. What does it mean, and what is it doing to us, psychologically?

Sorry for the inconclusive post but I'm very interested in your thoughts on this. Obviously our children will be very different people to us, given this is the norm they grew up in.

Linking with #MummyMondays

22 comments:

  1. I'm guilty of visiting places because I've seen them on SM. It's great advertising!

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    1. I do it all the time. I'm just curious about what it's doing to how we process the world and our role in it...

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  2. Sharing on social media and including a dedicated hashtag is cheap and effective advertising. A venue would be silly not to tap into this.

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  3. I sometime use social media to narrow down places to visit in a particular city but how instagramable a place is is not why I choose it. When I travel I find I don't want to post every day. It's a chore. Probably why I am not going to make millions travel blogging.

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  4. If a business does it right, social media is the best form of free advertising! I have visited a restaurants because they looked so good on Instagram, but I know my own mind when it comes to travel destinations!

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  5. I haven't done this at all (socially not into it) but I know that some places I go to help me show where I live and the local tourism people get a boost when I hashtag them. I have no problem doing this. I have visited a cafe locally and instagrammed by meal because it was good and they are on IG. Every little bit helps here. What I have noticed is what's going on in schools. Schools are embracing IG and FB and twitter more to promote the GOOD...and I love that. Of course, parents still need to give permission for kids' images to be used. I loved that when kids started school where my daughter teaches, the little ones held a frame around themselves "first day of school". That is cool! Denyse #teamIBOT

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  6. I think it's a two pronged fork. One one hand, (or prong), you have the benefits of sharing/promoting a place to visit and is so important these days (tourism, business etc). On the other hand I think we are missing the peripheral vision we were born with. Where we see the world as a whole, and not a hole, so to speak. I've been guilty of this, but the last year or so I've stepped back from the lens. I've limited myself to a few photos to share on SM and for my personal photo/memory collection, and taken the world in as we are meant to see it. It makes the experience so much more immersive in my opinion. The way it should be.

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  7. Hmm. I quite like the social media aspects. It's sort of like armchair travel at my computer. The photo ops are really just an extension of what we've always done, eg. with kids poking their heads through a montage and having their photograph taken so they look like the 'strong man' etc. It's just that now it's easier - and cheaper - to take photos plus there's somewhere to publish them easily, so it feels like there's a purpose.

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  8. I've heard that restaurants have had to reevaluate their turn around times because of all the social media that goes on now.

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  9. That's interesting. I was noticing this the other day - the need to share, show, or is it to document? I find myself doing the opposite - switching off so I can fully be present. I must be highly frustrating for the digital marketers! Food for thought though so thank you x

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  10. I found when I first started my instagram I was really into taking and posting several pics a day, then slowly i started to feel like i just had my phone out too much and i was missing out on quality time with my kids, now i tend to only post about once a day... great post xx #stayclassymama

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  11. While I don't travel to do SM becasue spending time with the kids is my foremost goal (though of course posting pics what we are doing is a bi-product of visiting) but I have to admit that I use social media as a tool to work out where to go when I head to new destinations. AT least the pics are real and not airbrushed ones of brochure fantasy

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    1. That's another question in itself. What is the airbrushed fantasy doing to us? Is it altering our opinions of what we are, what we should be doing etc? Are we wanting to present an airbrushed fantasy? How is that altering how we view things?

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  12. The Valentine's disco for the kids in my village had a frame for the kids to have their picture taken in. #kcacols

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    1. That generation will only see the world thru their presentation in selfies. It's quite scary

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  13. Great thought provoking post. As a blogger it can sometimes be hard to completely switch off and you're always seeing things through a lens but I do try. We live in a quite rural area and the choices of where to eat are quite limited anyway so we already know them all and I've never once looked at SM to see where to eat, but I can understand why people would in bigger areas, it's great advertising
    #KCACOLS

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  14. I don't think I've ever visited a place because I've seen it on social media however at a restaurant review recently I was doing just this. It was quite nice to see no one else was taking pictures of their food etc however it did make me feel self conscious over it and I was called out by a groups of young diners for taking photographs and told to get off my phone. So it just shows that not everyone falls into that world and just enjoyed a night out for the sake of a night out. Like I would had I not been reviewing. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

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  15. I don't think Ive seen anything near me advertised on SM but I live out in the country and am slow to SM. I love the idea of the photo booth though, If I saw that it would most likely entice me ti check it out,

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  16. I love discovering different events to go to via Facebook. I also get excited if I turn up and they have a personalised frame and hashtag for the event. My cousins wedding had her own ig hashtag which I thought was a cool touch for everyone to share photos.
    As for attending things and considering the SM aspects over all else!? This just seems barmy to me. Are people actually doing this? Lol. I will happily say I feel like a sm addict but even I wouldn't do this. I go for food quality, cleanliness and variety of activities for the little one. Grown up events I am rather disappointed if they won't make cocktails so check for that and good value for money.

    Maybe the world is ironing more Black Mirrors than I realised. #scaryshit

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    1. Oh fuck it! #KCACOLS. Keep doing that lol

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    2. We've been having that Black Mirror conversation lately. It's a lot more on point than I realised when I watched it. (and I also forget the hashtag all the time - so you made me laugh)

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