May 8, 2014

What did we do before selfies?

Seriously; what did we do before Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Snapshot? How did we let the world know what we were doing and how we were doing it and when we were doing it? Did we care? 

When I was young, we were wowed by the fact that Polaroid gave us the ability to shoot and show instant photos. Actually, we had to wait a few minutes. I’m so glad that they have new instant film and cameras reinvented for the digital age!

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell offered a glimpse into his past by writing; "I was doing selfies 60 years before you Facebook folks!” If you do the math, that would be around 1944.

So that made me wonder; “Were people from the 1850’s as wowed as we are today thinking that they had super fast ways of telling our life story to the world? They sent their “instant” news or photos by using the Post Office or pony express.  

Or they used a camera that took several minutes to expose the negative, meaning that the subjects had to sit or stand completely motionless for the duration or ruin the photograph. From what I understand, the public was enamored with these images. Were their photos considered “selfies”?

So what did we as a society do before selfies? How did we used to share our lives? Were cave paintings the rave when people used them to tell and instant story or share an instant photo from an event? Is what we are doing really all that new? 

King Solomon wrote;
“That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come by those who will come after.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 NKJV)

So what did we do before selfies?  

And where are we headed; not just technologically but relationally; closer or farther? By being so vulnerable are we becoming more intimate or have we lost the ability to be shocked as we are enamored by our modern ways to share our lives instantly?

Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2 NKJV)

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