Last week I was lucky enough to attend a black tie event at a stunning five star hotel in London. It was a fantastic evening spent amongst great company in glamorous surroundings, with free-flowing booze and delicious food. Something troubled me right from the start though. Even as I took my first sip of sparkling champers I was struck by the vast amount of mobile phones, tablets and various other gadgets being waved about, all vying to capture the ultimate shot to no doubt post on social media for all to see.
A mobile was pointed in my face with the instruction ‘Do it again Kerry!’ when I hit my colleague on the arm with a ‘novelty’ pen and we found it hilarious as the impact made the light up ball on top of it flash (aren’t things so much funnier after a couple of drinks?). The moment had passed though and I didn’t want to repeat what had been spontaneous just for the benefit of others. And as I relived the night’s events the following morning it made me wonder, with so much of our lives spent behind or indeed in front of a camera nowadays, do we actually miss out on witnessing the optimum moment of a special occasion first hand because we’re constantly striving to capture it via some sort of gadgetry for the world to see?
Now I’m the first to admit that I’m a complete Facebook addict and enjoy posting silly pictures to share with my friends. Similarly, I love it when my friends post their pictures. I like to see where they’ve been on a night out, what they’re wearing/eating/drinking, their new haircut, what their kids are up to in the school holidays – things that help me to stay in touch with people I don’t always see as I’d often as I like.
But there’s also a dark side of social media that I struggle with. The staged photos that have taken numerous attempts to look spontaneous, a group of girls in a bar, preening and pouting and flicking their hair, all for the sake of one picture, or the huge mobile device that blocks my line of vision as its owner stands in front of me filming some event or other.
Specifically though, there are several picture types that regularly crop up on social media and are almost certainly guaranteed to evoke a huge tut and eye-roll from me when I witness them and yes, of course I’m going to share them with you!
Be warned dear reader, you might be guilty of one or two – I certainly am – but I hope you will take the following in the light-hearted spirit in which it’s intended………
The pouting selfie
If God had intended for us to pout, he’d have stuck a bumhole on our face to save us the strain. Unless you look like Shergar when you show your teeth (that’s me then) or have a medical condition that prevents you from opening your mouth, for goodness sake crack a smile and show us your pretty face!
The ‘food porn’ shot
It’s not that I don’t want to see pictorial evidence of what you had for dinner but when I’m the one out for a meal with you, usually by the time my food arrives, I’m more than a trifle peckish, my blood sugar levels are on the floor and I’m a little irritable as a result. I can’t wait a moment longer while you faff around taking pictures so please just hurry up and take the damned shot so we can all crack on with our grub!
The ‘me and something arty in the background’ shot
If you stick your face in front of the camera, I can’t actually see the architecturally brilliant building/dazzling city lights/hazy sunset on the horizon that you’re trying to bring to my attention now can I?
Allow me to illustrate:
I’m not sure why you even have to be in the picture anyway? The only exception to this is in the case of my good friend HH who, whilst at a Little Mix concert, pretended to take a selfie, whilst cleverly capturing in the background ex-X Factor ‘star’ Sam Bailey, donning a baggy velour tracksuit, looking like she’d rather be slouched in front of the TV with a family sized bag of cheese puffs and three Mars bars than sat watching these four lovely ladies perform. Now that was pure art….
The ‘so…this just happened’ shot
Someone vomiting up your leg on a night out ‘just happened’ (click here for proof). A raw egg rolling off your kitchen worktop and splattering on the floor ‘just happened’. Purchasing a large coffee from a highly popular coffee chain, holding the cup out in front of you with said coffee chain logo and perfectly manicured nails blatantly on show whilst ensuring that you also get your new shoes into the shot didn’t ‘just happen’…..it was a conscious choice that probably took you an obscene amount of effort to coordinate. So there.
The ‘not sure – opinions’ selfie
Well since you ask I think all junk food chains should be replaced by healthy but tasty snack outlets, everyone should be given a day off work on their birthday and Lulu should stop dressing like a twenty year old. Oh sorry – you wanted my opinion on how you look in your selfie? Well, you look gorgeous of course. But I suspect you already know this, otherwise you wouldn’t have posted it……