Wish you ‘like’ here

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A recent article on the National Geographic website referred to how social networking sites, such as Instagram, is influencing tourists’ holiday destinations. Instead of going to a travel agent to flick through holiday brochures, social media users are enticed by the idyllic views they scroll through on their digital devices.

Not only do the images persuade someone to visit such beautiful places, but also they urge users to want to replicate the same images on their profiles. After all,  the ‘like’ is social currency, and the more ‘likes’ you receive, the more popular you appear to be. Therefore, in order to compete with such competition, Instagrammers search for destinations where they can capture the same such shots of paradise. 

In addition to this, there has been a decline in the popularity of Club 18 to 30 holidays, because people are now preferring the convenience of starting relationships on dating apps.  Furthermore, alcohol strewn images don’t look as cool for millenials. They are preferring to opt for photo opportunities in far flung places, so that they can adorn the walls of their social media profiles with picturesque views  

Subsequently, place has become an important aspect of digital identity. This is something that I would like to explore further when thinking about ideas for my fourth assignment. 

The Digital Condition of Photography

In his essay, 'The Digital Condition of Photography: Cameras, computers and display', David Bate (2013, 78) sets himself apart from the critics and supporters of 'digital culture', by stating another position that:

enquires into and considers the specific 'digital' condition of the photographic image in relation to the social identity of 'photography' as a system for the inscription of visual images.

On reflection, I can see how different generations could attribute a different 'social identity' to photography. I can still remember receiving an envelope containing my photographic prints, after waiting an hour for them to be developed. The strip of negatives, included in the packet, was a reminder of the darkroom process that had been necessary to make the exposures. There was always a sense of excitement to look at photographs, which had been taken so long ago, that it was a surprise to see what they were. There was also a sense of despair when some of the prints included quality control stickers because they were blurred, underexposed or overexposed. I wonder how many moments have been consigned to the bin, unseen again. 

Today's digital generation have never known anything different. After taking a photo, they can instantly review, save or delete it. They have an abundance of opportunities to capture the right image, which has the potential to be shared across the world. Today's digital society is drowning in a sea of images, which are being produced as quickly as water flowing from a tap. Bate (2013) recognises how the permeation of images across society blurs the distinguishing features of photographic practices.