I asked my Father today if he remembered life before television. He said he did, and it was a world where a lot of people read books and newspapers, played games and got together with friends and a barrel of beer.
The reason I asked is because I realize that since the invention of TV, and people watching hours a day, we’ve now become a society that lives on screens. I wake up to my iPhone and iPad. I read the iPad with coffee, then off to a computer where I work editing photographs and marketing photography.
Or I have a photo shoot, and I make the photographs and check them on the camera’s screen. Finally, import them to the computer for editing tomorrow.
I wrap up the day, and it’s back to the iPad. Or I write at night, like this post here, on my laptop either at a pub or at home.
I’m not a TV watcher, but if I were, I would probably switch that on when I got done writing, and finish up the day with an iPad in bed.
What happened to us? We live on screens.
I think that’s why I’m drawn to film photography–I get to create with a simple ground glass for viewing the image (on a 4×5 or 8×10 view camera, a Rolleiflex or a Leica 35mm). It has no electronics. It’s physical, just light being focused onto film.
Same with hand-printing photographs in a darkroom, it’s hands on, and nothing electronic to it.
I’m betting that’s why some people like gardening (I am not one of those people) but it gives them the chance to work with their hands and dirt to create something beautiful. Can’t get more “down to earth” than that!
Same thing with nature lovers and landscape photographers (I am not one of those either). Staring at the sky and trees is a welcome past-time in this digitally screened-in world.
Anyway, I wonder what all these screens, with living in a screen world, is doing to us, how it’s affecting our culture, our friendships, our lives.
Are we better off than 80 years ago, when all we needed were friends and a barrel of beer?