I am a camera with its shutter open,
quite passive, recording, not thinking
--I Am A Camera, Christopher Isherwood
The observer is the observed
Somebody help me,
I'm being spontaneous!
--The Truman Show (1998)
Shortly after checking in to his lodgings in a Cleveland suburb, Ranger witnessed what felt like a flash mob in the motel lobby (above). It was a convergence of parents and students en route to attend a parochial high school prom.
Outstanding were two points: the jarring contrast between the abject poverty we had seen half and hour away in the inner city (dates shared color-matched formal outfits), and the quality of the viewed experience.
Half of the people were photographing others, while half were photographing themselves on their Smart Phones, presumably to immediately upload to their Facebook page.
What are we as a society if every event must have the intermediary of the ever-vigilant camera? It no longer suffices to savor dinner and a conversation. No -- the meal must be posed and documented before it may be consumed. We are functioning as our own CCTV.
How can a people complain about governmental intrusion when we post our data voluntarily?