Slaves to Our Tools

I’ve stared at the above image for a quite some time and it is truly haunting… … … I like that word in particular.

It’s such a remarkable phone zombie moment. Exactly like the undead in movies, the fans are grabbing and clawing for the artist, but there’s no eye contact, scant human interaction to be had between them.

Why is the effect so chilling?

The reason I find this so evocative is because I see myself in that zombie crowd.

Because we’ve all done it before, right? And this is entirely true:

In my experience, I can’t focus on both capturing the best possible photo and the subject of the photo. And so, when doing work photography, I can often end up feeling like I barely saw the thing I’d been looking at the whole time.

I just don’t think that we were designed, biologically and psychologically, to manage both of these experiences with excellence (i.e. watching event and capturing event). Obviously, there should be one that is prioritized and much-preferred, but, it’s almost instinctively we’ve moved toward capturing the event instead of experiencing it fully.

I think technology has a part to play in that – actually, a huge part really. But we can’t blame it nor can we get exceedingly upset about it as we’ve decided to become slaves and not masters of our tools.