Tuesday, 17 June 2014

A Picture Paints A Thousand Words

by Phoebe Warren

Every night we perform the bedtime ritual. Clean our teeth, put our pjs on and clamber into bed. However, there is usually a momentary pause at this point, where we intellectually indulge ourselves with fresh information before we sleep. A person in such a routine may choose to read a book.

Yet for others even this is simply not a coherent option. Admittedly most of us now would seek where we placed our phone, (usually finding it is handily still glued to our palm), and browse the latest offers online, or indeed the Insta snapped hotel Spencer and Jamie have just checked into. Perhaps you may even proceed to upload your own edition to the newsfeed - in Early Bird filter of course. 

The reality is that, in our fast paced, instantaneous, demanding world, we need to be able to gather as much information about an event in as little time as possible, and arguably a book is no longer the viable option. Thus, Instagram provides the perfect, edited snapshot of someone’s day; prepped for us to quickly judge and scroll on down.
This cuts the viewing time of the 100+new Facebook photos added to an album down to a simple shot; so we no longer have to heave through the pointless blurred images Facebook users upload on mass just because they can. No- the Instagram user must be far more select with their photo choice and carefully caption with the right hashtags; don’t want to appear too eager with those. 

Ironically, Instagram is now owned by Facebook, so perhaps our endless editing is futile since our feed is not as independently crafted as we all believe.

Nonetheless, we often still find it easier to cope with photos as apposed to words. Upon viewing a photo, we are provided with the set dimensions of a square which summarises a scene - as opposed to a long winded description of an event, often heavy with bias opinion. Moreover, even when we are given the opportunity to express our feelings via word on social media, we are limited to 140 character space.

So perhaps we have adapted to our social media environment by minimising language and exaggerating imagery. We are forever being told it is becoming increasingly harder to make an impact, so we turn to imagery to fulfil the gap language once left for our imagination. Surely this is simply essential adaptation to cope with the bombardment of information we are given today? After all, a picture is said to paint a thousand words.

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