Staged Life

Recently, I attended a one year old’s birthday party. There were tons of people there who I didn’t know and no one was really saying hi. It was cliqueish, actually. So, we ate and hung out and I watched the guest of honor get passed around through 20 different people’s hands. Finally, it was time for the cake smash, which is the new thing, I suppose, because I didn’t see a candle. I’m used to seeing babies spit and blow on the flame instead, but I’m definitely not in the hip loop these days. All of a sudden, the crowd converged around the high chair and the baby. When that happened, I couldn’t see the baby anymore. It looked like the Paparazzi had shown up to take photos of this momentous event. Needless to say, I was at first puzzled, then bothered, then amused. There were cameras and video cameras and iPads and smartphones all pointed within 2 feet of this child who was mesmerized by all of the attention. If only the people were watching, I probably could’ve seen the baby, but there were electronic devices everywhere taking up space too. Dutifully the baby began to smash and eat the cake, which made the Paparazzi ooh and aah and they got their perfect videos/pictures.

As I peruse social media, I see what I would call, staged pictures. I blame Pinterest for most of this because I see babies in football helmets, pumpkins, Easter baskets, etc. Taking photos is great; I have 2000+ pictures on my phone right now. But, why do we share our most precious pictures with almost complete strangers? And why does the picture have to be perfect? Another question I have:  why do people video EVERYthing? Do they go back and watch it? I sincerely doubt it.

Whenever I go to an event or visit an attraction, people are snapping pictures everywhere. Most of the time, I end up feeling rude because I’m walking through the picture line, meaning, I am walking between the photographer and their subjects. Am I being rude? Or are they? I haven’t quite figured that out yet. I’m used to this at very important events, like a commencement ceremony, but now it’s everywhere. EVERYwhere. Every thing or place is an opportunity to snap a picture to show the world that we are out and about and so very happy.

So, we are living the staged life. Perhaps we’ve always been doing this, but now, social media allows the entire world to view it.



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