For those swines amongst you that are too YOUNG to remember the 70s, you may still have heard the old sitcom jokes etc about holiday snaps and cine camera movies. For those of you who have no idea what I’m rambling about, picture the scene.
It’s the 70s long hair on men, flairs and gatsby jumpers -( I tried in vain to get a picture of one, other than an old picture of my sister wearing one, which she would have crucified me for publishing I couldn’t find one). Google The Bay City Rollers and you’ll get the idea.
Anyway most normal families didn’t have loads of cash to splash around and package holidays were almost exclusively reserved for the better off in society. Your wannabee snob relatives or neighbour goes on said package holiday to the “exotic” beaches of Marbella or Benidorm. Two weeks later they return home looking like a teak sideboard (another 1970s gem) your “poor” family get invited round for the evening. You arrive to find bowls of nuts and glasses of sangria with tiny umbrellas for the adults. Orange juice with tiny umbrellas for the children. The host is wearing shorts, t-shirt and a sombrero. An enormous stuffed donkey sits in the corner of the room, his wife is wearing a Flamenco style dress and there are pairs of castanets hung up on the walls. The lights are dimmed and for the next 3 hours you are subjected to a torture not unlike A Clockwork Orange. A full-blown two weeks worth of holiday snaps, transformed by the magic of Kodak into slides – hundreds of the buggers. Mind numbingly boring slides of sand, of sea, of a man at a stall selling oranges (you are informed his name was Pedro and they bought oranges from him every day). A road sign in Spanish, the airport, the plane, the inflight meal, the inflight magazine, the sign at the hotel, the coach etc etc etc. You know what I’m talking about, hundreds and hundreds of slides that you just don’t want to look at, but you’re too polite to feign a headache and go home.
Jump forward to 2013 and we have come full circle, only now instead of slides, it’s digital, it’s social, it’s FACEBOOK!
Now this is where I may offend a few people, however, to me Facebook has become one enormous slide show. I have a couple of friends in particular who I’m afraid my heart sinks when they appear on my newsfeed. Because at least once a week they upload about 200 photographs of their child in very similar poses, just at slightly different angles. Perhaps the child was doing something “cute” at the time, but by the time the shutter has closed the child has moved and all you’re left with is a close up of the middle parting of their hair – accompanied by a caption that means absolutely nothing to the viewer. You feel obliged to click-through all 200 pictures hitting the “like” button, even though you don’t like about three-quarters of them, because they have somehow managed to make their normally cute child look like the Mekon. Every single picture has a sick inducing caption or worse still a hashtag! I don’t want to look anymore, I want to not like them, I want to ask them, would they print that picture out and put it in a frame on their mantlepiece, because if they wouldn’t, then WHY are your Facebook friends being forced to “like” it.
So come on own up, are you a prolific Facebook photo uploader? Do you just take the memory card from your camera and upload everything that’s on there, without looking at them yourself? Do you inundate your friends with every tiny movement your children make? Do you have friends that do it to you? Do you “like” every single picture? Or do you cheat and just look at the album cover picture and like the whole album without looking any further, leaving a comment on it saying “cute pictures” Or do you hide them from your newsfeed and never see, like or comment on any of their snaps?
I will confess to hiding a couple of people from my newsfeed, or just ignoring the photos and not looking. When I feel that I really have to say something, I will cheat and just like the album cover, having looked no further. I’m not a compete rotter though, I do look, like and comment on the pictures of friends who don’t bombard me constantly with huge albums. Most of us realistically don’t have the time to scroll through 200 pictures.
So to “like” or not to “like” – that is the question?
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