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