Gimme Something Real

I wonder if social media isn’t actually a menace to both photography and society. Right now, there are so many people addicted to their devices, and the research shows that the LIKE button makes many people feel more inadequate than good. The constant barrage of content ends up making people depressed as they find themselves feeling underachieving (compared to the photos others post), more isolated and so disconnected, which is ironic since connection is what they signed up for in the first place.

And photography has become a glance and a swipe rather than an actual photograph. I can’t see how that’s a good thing for the art of photography.

Just today, I created a Facebook Group called, “For the Elimination of Facebook and All Social Media.” It felt cathartic and at the same time ridiculous to create a group on Facebook against Facebook. But I want to see if there are others like me who think we were better off when we communicated in person, when we made time to share with family and friends.

Now I hear that Elon Musk is buying Twitter. I’m done with all of these platforms. He can have it, he can have them all. (And he can afford them–goody for Elon!)

I want real things in my life. Real conversations over real meals and drinks.

At the beginning of this year, I built a blog site called GimmeSomethingReal.org, on which I wrote:

Nothing is REAL anymore. I want to spearhead a revolution–an affirmation to choose things that are real.

Here’s what I penned:

We are tired of being a data point to be marketed to. People getting rich off our information.

We are done with being tracked everywhere we go. We’re taking back our lives and privacy, choosing things that are real.

We’re done with 24-hour news bloviating on with sensational reports and being lied to. There are trusted news sources–AP, NPR, UPI–that we will turn to, that don’t have to fill every second of the day to get ratings.

We’re tired of people basing their politics on memes they’ve seen online. We’re done with the small-minded manipulation of people who they know will react but won’t research the source.

We choose to support small businesses over Amazon, Walmart, and other big box stores.

We choose to put family and friends first.

We value time spent together and experiences over wealth-gathering.

We prefer a small home over a stately mansion.

We choose to work hard enough to have enough, not work so hard for so much money at the expense of never having time to live fulfilling lives.

We choose to cook our food over fast-food and microwaved meals.

We choose vinyl records and CDs over Spotify and Pandora.

We choose hand-written greeting cards over emails.

We choose film photography and making photographs–real pictures–over Instagram and digital phone snapshots which are never seen and essentially become worthless.

We choose real mailed letters and typewritten notes. Sometimes even with typewriters, because they’re cool, they were built to last, and they did!

There’s a REALIZATION. There’s a need for a revolution, a rising up.

Like Bob Dylan sang about in the 1960s, this is our time to stand together and make a change, choose what we want for ourselves.

We want to be more than just zombies staring at our phones, so desperate for human connection we allow their constant interruptions because they know we need to be needed.

We want more than just the internet and computers and screens all day long.

We value spending time with friends over sitting at home with TV.

We make music. We make art. We are doers, not watchers. We don’t watch other people live on TV programs, we choose to live ourselves.

We’re not in that big of a hurry!

We want to live. To experience new things. To be constantly alive.

So, we do.

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