Telling Stories through PhotosHow do you imagine social interaction within 10 years, taking into consideration the impact of technology on human relations? This is my answer - I'm interested to hear yours, too!
We’ve used writing to communicate for over 8,000 years. However, the very first writing systems weren’t much more than simplified images: pictures used to represent concepts. Egyptian hieroglyphs, Sumerian cuneiform, and Chinese logographs were basic pictures. Our species’ first recorded communications were not with letters, but with pictures.The future of social interaction is, in many ways, a return to our earliest form of communication.
In ten years, we’ll be communicating with pictures and photos, by sharing what we see and what we’re doing with those closest to us.
Photographs can evoke compassion, anger, nostalgia, and the entire landscape of human emotions in ways that text alone cannot. With pictures, we’re not just telling our friends and family what we’re thinking - we’re showing them. We’re inviting them to be a part of our lives in a richer and very personal way.
With the advent of cellular phones, everyone can be a photographer and share their pictures. 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day. Instagram, founded just two years ago, receives 5 million new photo uploads daily. Pinterest broke the 10 million user mark faster than any site in history. The majority of the recent great successes on the Internet have been based on image sharing.
Over the course of the last several weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to beta-test Google Glass - a futuristic heads-up display that replicates several cell-phone functions on a small screen mere millimeters from my eye. It’s revolutionary, and I don’t just say that because I work at Google. Time Magazine named Glass one of the best inventions of 2012, naming it “the device that will make augmented reality part of our daily lives.”
The most compelling feature of Google Glass isn’t the turn-by-turn navigation or the ability to read text messages or emails. For me, the feature that gets the most use is the seamless sharing of pictures I’ve taken.
The pictures aren’t profound. I sent picture of an amusing warning label to a friend. I took a picture of a sunrise on the way to work and sent it to my mom. I take (probably too many) pictures of my cat to share with my brother.In sharing those photos, I’m saying more than “look at a picture of my cat.” I’m saying “Hey. You’re important to me. I’m thinking about you, and this small detail in my life reminded me of you.”
Photography comes from the Greek photos
(light) + graphos
(write). Photography is, in its most authentic form, writing with light. Rather than using words to tell a story, we’ll use pictures to show that story.
We’re on the cusp of a major transition. As technology advances, in-phone cameras improve, and heads-up displays become a part of our day-to-day life, we’ll start taking and sharing pictures in ways we haven’t before. We’ll deepen and strengthen our relationships with the people closest to us by inviting them into our lives through photography.
Ten years from now, it will be hard to imagine a world where we didn’t communicate using pictures. Like our earliest ancestors did, we’ll be sharing our thoughts and dreams not with words, but with pictures. As we continue to evolve into a globalized economy, travel more, and spend more time physically apart from our loved ones, we’ll be able to share our day-to-day lives with those who are most important to us. #photography