Sunday, April 19, 2009

Disposable is the new Digital -- No, I'm not Kidding

Whoever said digital cameras were the new disposable was strongly mistaken -- or at least that's what I tried to prove to my friends Saturday night.

With my college graduation weeks away, I attempted to document my final sorority formal on two disposable cameras. It wasn't to prove a point. It wasn't to appear as if I was in any way to superior to my peers. I just felt like it.

The reason behind my strong desire to capture the classy yet semi-debaucherous acts that my classmates and myself chose to act upon is simple: no one has real photos anymore.

To top it off, the most common complaint after handing my disposable camera to a friend in order to capture the obligatory "cute photo of you and your date for your family members" photo was, "Wow, do I really have to look through this little hole to take a picture? I can't see anything!" False. You can see something. Look through the darn view finder! It's not hard.

The older that the generation born at the end of the 1980's (and so on...) get, the more pictures taken of them and their friends end up on Facebook and not in a picture frame at their bedside or upon their walls. The world is in this digital fantasy playland that they don't want to escape from. It's as if people know they can click their ruby slippers three times and then go home to a simpler time, but they don't and they won't.

There are many benefits to using disposable over digital. For example, the suspense factor skyrockets when you have no idea what the pictures you're taking look like before, during, and after clicking the shutter. There is no "instant gratification" to taking a picture on a disposable camera ... unless you count the fact that you know it will be quite entertaining to see after being developed.

Technology has and will continue to change the cultural landscape. Trends come and go based on the next gadget produced by Apple, Sony, Cannon, and the internet as a whole. It's up to the people buying and selling those products to make the final decision in the amount that they use them.

I too am an iPod using, digital camera owning woman of the 21st century. But that doesn't mean you have to abuse the privilege.

Digital camera owners don't have to downgrade and go back to using film cameras or disposables, but simply printing the photos they take instead of sticking them online would be nice.

I can't tell you how many times I've taken pictures on my digital camera with the sole intention to post them online for the whole world to see. It's a way of "showing off" what you did to as many people as possible as fast you can so everyone can see all the cool things you did. That's why I urge all digital camera users to be far more weary of what they post. Take all the photos you want but ask yourself this: is it really worth posting if it's not worth printing?

So do something new this week. Go get yourself a disposable camera, head out in that spring weather, and take some pictures. The results may surprise you!

All photos in this entry were taken by R.H. Levitin with a disposable camera, compliment of CVS Pharmacy.

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