Instagram and Tumblr – I’m glad The Who didn’t t-t-t-talk about our generation.

Taking a break from the usual discussion of film for once, although I do have some work coming down the line that should be up very soon.

If I remember correctly it can only have been a couple of months since I wrote an entry that was a little bit different from my usual jumble of film talk. I wrote an entry that was outlining the reasons why I dislike the social networking site Instagram, and I wish I could say that post had all of the reasons but I was holding back quite a bit. It’s only recently after reading through that particular post again that I realised just how much I dislike social networking sites that rely on photos.

Instagram was just the beginning for me, I’ve already talked of how annoying it is. You get constant updates of small details of someone’s life that honestly you could live without. If you like receiving updates on what someone is drinking, what colour underwear they’re wearing, what page of a book they’re up to, and what their legs look like when they’re in a bath tub then by all means sign up. But if you can take a step back and realise that it’s all just nonsense then I would stay well away. Trust me, having been a part of it for nearly a year you come close to drowning in the sea of hashtags. People will pile hashtags on to a picture if they think it will get them more likes, even if some of the things they tag aren’t even in the picture. You’ll see a picture of someone’s coffee from Costa and it will be swiftly followed by an army of meaningless hashtags; #coffee #costa #drink #liquid #hot #girl #browneyes #blonde #young #breathing #oxygen #blinking #human #skin #drinkingonacoldday #england #earth. It’s just rubbish. We depend so much on how many likes we get on a picture it takes our attention away from things that matter, you know, things that genuinely exist, not just a picture of a love heart with a number next to it. And I know just how ridiculous it is because I used to be part of it. Luckily those days are behind me now.

But the stupidity doesn’t stop there I’m afraid.

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is “are you on Tumblr?” which I can safely say I am not. Why would I be? I’ve had a glance at tumblr when friends have shown me the site and there was nothing appealing from my point of view. From what I saw it’s a site that has fallen victim to an increasing problem, which is essentially a computer virus consisting of teenage hormones. It’s a technicolour splattering of meaningless statements, pictures and videos that should really be quarantined in a corner of the internet that is difficult to reach. Scrolling down the news feed or whatever it’s called, all you see is pictures of kittens, porn and idiotic quotes that were clearly written by the same overly emotional fifteen year old. And that last one is the main problem for me; the quotations.

I’m all for quotations as most people will know, I think they’re a brilliant source of motivation and inspiration, but they have to mean something. The sort of quotes I like are ones said by truly inspirational figures like Abraham Lincoln or Muhammad Ali. I don’t take inspiration from a fourteen year old from West Berkshire who got dumped after two weeks of awkward hand holding in the playground. The sort of quote I’m talking about are things like “you can separate two lovers by distance but you can never break the bridge that connects their hearts no matter where they are in the world” Now I’m not sure about anyone else but after reading a quote like that I can’t help but feel on edge. Ever stroked a dog’s fur the wrong way? That’s how every inch of my skin feels. Firstly I would just like to point out that their choice of words is very annoying. Lovers?! It’s a social networking site, not a Jane Austin novel! I also think the whole basis of the quote is stupid because it’s suggesting that someone that young has found someone they are genuinely in love with. I hate to be pessimistic but you haven’t, you’ve just managed to find someone you can stand seeing for longer periods of time before moving to University. I know what some people are already thinking by this point; if I don’t want to see this sort of quote then don’t go on the website. The sad thing is I don’t go on the site, the quotes are somehow being leaked on to Facebook. Honestly they are the sort of posts that make me re assess the situation and consider the possibility that updates about Farmville weren’t actually that annoying.

It’s worse when a quote from someone famous circulates the site and leaks out on to Facebook. The amount of times I’ve seen the same Paul McCartney quote “if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian” which annoys me to a certain extent. Firstly I don’t think it’s true, mainly because we’re well aware of the horrible affairs that go on in the world but we still consume such products because we choose to. We’re not being force fed meat after being horrified by how it’s prepared, we’re choosing to eat it because it’s become part of our balanced diet. Secondly it relies entirely on the assumption that everyone lives within a certain radius of a slaughterhouse, which is a contextual factor needed for the exercise to work efficiently. Most of all for me however is that I don’t think the quote means as much as people think it does. This is mainly because the situation that the quote suggests sounds rather pointless. If you genuinely need somewhere that is called a “SLAUGHTERhouse” to have glass walls, then you’re not doing the best of jobs at reading. The word “slaughter” is suggestive enough and implies the nature of activities that occur within the building so why bother suggesting that we need visual evidence in order to allay our doubts. Let’s not go wasting money on an exercise that could be eliminated by simply showing people a dictionary definition of certain words. I understand that people interpret the quote differently, but there’s a difference between quotes that mean something and those that are over used until we think they mean more than they do.

The dependence that our generation has on social networking scares me. Likes on a picture of our new socks mean so much to us, and we seek advice from quotations that are about as poetic as instruction for cup o soup. I’m sure that Tumblr has more than that to it, but after going on it  couple of times and being bombarded by so called philosophical quotes and animations of porn it opens a lot of questions as to what has happened to our generation. They call it a blog which is fair enough, but if you’re interests don’t span much further than cats, porn and sentences that have as much use a swimming lessons for fish, then I don’t think a blog is really for you because it requires a certain level of creativity and imagination.

Safe to say I’m sticking to this site, Facebook and Twitter firmly for the foreseeable future. That way I can stay how I am for as long as possible without having to re create myself so that my identity suits the trashy new format of social websites. I shall end this post on a positive note, with a quote from Abraham Lincoln that sums up my views about online identities quite nicely:

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”

Rapid Reviews – Dark Shadows [DVD]

Do you remember Edward Scissorhands? Really well structured, artistic film with different underlying themes? That was the genius of Tim Burton in 1990. Now fast forward to 2012, and to one of Tim Burton’s latest creations; Dark Shadows. All I can say to Tim is what the hell happened?

I saw the trailer for the film beforehand and I admit it made me laugh, there was a certain charm to it and it looked as though it could be very interesting. Then I watched the film. Which is an experience I can only describe as being similar to looking at pictures of a hotel online, seeing they’ve got a nice pool, then going to the hotel and finding out that it’s just a puddle. It was a mess and a half of a film.

I don’t think I could describe the story, because it starts in the usual Tim Burton way of being very dark and dreary and then just looses it’s nerve later as it panics whilst trying to find itself. It didn’t really have a plot line that you stick with throughout, you just watch the characters going from one event to the next. It felt as though the writers sat down to brainstorm key moments of the film, but then didn’t link them together. It doesn’t flow at all and it just left me with a lot of questions like “why is she now suddenly that?” “why did he do that to those people?” and most importantly “why do I care about these people”.  The characters are written to be quirky and have their own little personalities but they actually felt quite flat so I didn’t feel connected to them in any form.

Also on the subject of writing I have to talk about screenplay; absolutely awful. It was boring and had no imaginative spark to it, with the best jokes being formed in the trailer by stitching different moments of the film together. It wasn’t as funny as it should have been, and there are a lot of scenes spent just talking aimlessly about what I can only describe as ‘stuff’ or ‘gothic stuff’. Either Seth Grahame-Smith got heavily bored whilst writing the screenplay or he just has a total lack of both imagination and the ability to articulate.

In terms of acting, it was very similar to many Burton films: Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter do their thing that we all know well enough by now. I will say that in the film’s defense Eva Green did a good job of playing the main villain with a good mix of being dark and mysterious but also with a mischievous element too. However her ability was knocked out of focus by the appearance of a young Chloe Grace Moretz, who for this particular film had all the skill of a GCSE drama student, so instead of appreciating Eva Green more I found myself getting annoyed will young miss Mortetz. Quite a poor effort from the cast, but to be honest with the material they were given, there wasn’t a lot of room to squeeze talent in.

The whole style of the film feels very outdated. It felt as though Burton was trying to relive the days of Beetle Juice and Edward Scissorhands and it really didn’t work for me. There’s pointless scenes of violence that add nothing to the film, the characters are meant to be quirky and dark but in the end they just feel odd and out of place, and there is a lot of references to older gothic films but they literally feel as though they are ingredients added to a cake mixture just before it’s put in the oven. In particular, later in the film it got really boring because of all the silly violence that kicked in and amounted to nothing so it felt rather pointless. It did not have the artistic nature of creative flare that Burton has had in the past.

All in all I would give the film two stars, it was a really poor effort from a film maker that I actually rather like. It was loud and trashy with no real appeal or spark to it, and to be honest it felt as if it was really ill disciplined. I won’t say it was completely terrible because admittedly I did giggle a couple of times, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that it’s a mess. The story and characters are both shambolic so the structure of the film collapses. There are not themes or messages present and it felt as though Burton was making the film for a bit of fun, which if you are going to do, at least do it in a Tarantino styled way so the film is at least partially enjoyable. Personally I feel that it failed as both a comedy and a drama so it sits in the void of films, waiting for a day when someone will come along and feel a connection that I struggled to find. I don’t plan on watching the film again, I was put through the pain of it once and I don’t think a second viewing is going to change my mind. To anyone planning to watch it, just think twice and don’t watch it based on the fact you liked the trailers.

So to sum up, in the words of Mark Kermode: “wasted my time I did”.

Tim Burton vs Christopher Nolan – The Batman Argument

This post is inspired by an article I’ve not long finished reading entitled ’15 Reasons Tim Burton’s Batman Is Better Than Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight’. It was quite an interesting article in the sense that it managed to anger me but also entertain me because of the statements this person was making. I’m not about to slate Tim Burton as a film maker because I respect him and admire his work a lot, but when it comes to Batman his films were quite poor compared to the recent work of Christopher Nolan. I’ve shown my admiration for Christopher Nolan a lot in previous posts, so you can label this as defending him, and at the end of the day you’d be right to do so.

I thought the best way to handle this was to address the points made in the article that annoyed me, and do my best to not so much correct them, but just show how they are not entirely correct and/or probable. The list may be long but believe me I had to cut it down massively to make this post shorter. Hold on to your hats, this is going to be quite a journey.

1. The action – the person who wrote the article felt as though Nolan’s films have less actions in them and then when they are action sequences they are dull. Personally I feel that there is a perfect balance between dialogue and action and the action sequences that are in the films are very well choreographed. The thing with the violence in the Burton films is that it felt too much like a comic book, with spraying Tommy Guns and slow punches so I didn’t feel as though it was close to real life because it was too dramatised. In the case of Nolan’s films it’s more brutal, the use of sound and the choreography means you can feel the weight of every punch so you can feel that the characters are being hurt, and for me Burton failed to capture this feeling. 

2. Script – the writer of the article felt as though the script was boring and there was too much talking. In particular they referenced what they call “ponderous conversations in Wayne Enterprises boardroom” which they considered to be tedious and too serious. In my opinion I don’t think this is a bad thing, it shows clever writing capability on Nolan’s part and also adds a certain intellectual level to the script. It’s all well and good making a Batman film that has loud explosions and chase sequences, but it shows something special if you can add depth to it through clever planning and development of characters intellect. With the screenplay for Burton’s films it was good, but nothing special, almost as if the characters were saying the basics of what needed to be said which differs greatly from Nolan’s scripts. I consider Christopher Nolan to be one of the best screenplay writers of our time, he’s both intelligent and witty and is very good at characterisation. I still cherish to this day his line he wrote for the Joker: “do I look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars; I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it!”.

3. Timing – apparently if Batman doesn’t appear in the first couple of minutes of the film, then the film isn’t very good. Which is complete and utter rubbish. Batman takes a full fourty minutes to make an appearance in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ which for me was very good. It showed true development of character, showing how Bruce Wayne was in a real make or break situation where he had to build himself back up to being Batman. It was slow, but not in a dragging kind of way, but more in a taking it’s time sort of way, it was delicate and allowed the audience to connect more to the human side of Batman by showing how at the end of the day we are all Bruce Wayne in the sense that we want to be more than just a person.

 4. (pt 1) Actors – The cast of the Nolan films is supposedly not matched to the ensemble put together by Burton. I liked the cast of the Burton films equally as much as I liked the cast of the Nolan trilogy, but I would disagree with the writer when they say that Michael Keaton is a better Batman than Christian Bale. For me Michael Keaton was the same person when he was Bruce Wayne and Batman, with no real difference between the two other than the costume. He seemed quite emotionless and his delivery of lines was a bit flat for my liking. On the flip side, Christian Bale had a real darker side to him when he was Batman and felt more like a vigilante, and then when he was Bruce Wayne he had this feel of conflicting emotions that made him appear to be more human so he was easy to connect with.

4. (pt 2) Actors, The Joker – I have no problem with Jack Nicholson, he is one of the finest actors to ever grace our screens, but to say he was a better Joker than Heath Ledger is a little bit too far. I liked Jack Nicholson’s Joker because he was quite true to the comic books and his presence was that of someone who wasn’t odd, but crazy. However I feel that Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker was unbeatable, he really got in to the mindset of the character and presented us with a character who was so chaotic in their actions but a complete genius in their thinking style. The latest Joker was more of a terrorist and his plans advanced further than just planning to gas Gotham, so Ledger had the opportunity to really go for it and push forward a character who we both loved and feared. According to the writer also, Jack Nicholson was a more ‘fun’ joker, which I think is a comment that can only be taken seriously if you are a child. The whole idea of The Joker is that he is having fun causing problems, so in the case of Jack Nicholson he had fun dancing around and singing, whereas Heath Ledger’s Joker had more fun tearing buildings down and making people angry. Finally I have to address their laughs as The Joker; Ledger’s wins by a clear mile.

5. Theme Song – I’ll only address his briefly, in short Danny Elfman’s score was too loud and felt like it was suited more to a pantomime, whereas Hans Zimmer constructed a score that suited the actions sequences but also the depths of the characters involved. Danny Elfman’s felt more like he was producing the soundtrack for sixties cartoon, Zimmer’s felt like it was well suited for a big bold blockbuster for an intelligent audience.

6. Visual Style – I will admit that Burton’s attempts to make the film look like it was straight out of a comic book is admirable, but Nolan brought something very special to the way we look at Gotham City. Nolan made it look more like it was a real city with real people, and that Batman was less of a superhero but more of a vigilante, who wanted to be a sign that represents people who want to make a difference. With Burton’s films Batman felt like a superhero who goes out in tights every night taking on whatever robbers or crooks he can find, whereas with Nolan he felt like a vigilante who was helping the police to bring down a greater problem. I won’t slate Burton completely here, I do admire his artistic style when it came to the visuals but sometimes it did feel a little over the top and crossed the line from being quirky to out of place.

7. Directing – a quote from the article that really made me feel annoyed was “Burton didn’t overload the frame with crap” which was so much further from the truth. In Burton’s films it was clear that he was focused on visual style and wanted it to look like it had jumped out of the pages of a comic book. There were quirky characters, outlandish pieces of scenery and set pieces galore, with trashy action sequences that felt like they were being acted out by a child playing with action figures. Nolan’s films felt as though they were placed in our own world with characters that could easily exist. The directing style that Nolan uses is very impressive, he makes sure that was in on screen is perfect, focusing on little details such as the Joker’s hand positioning and facial expression. His action sequences are tight, and the characters are perfectly balanced. Yes there are set pieces in Nolan’s films, but they link to deeper moral messages and themes based around people’s conscience, and the human condition. I’m not going to totally mock Burton’s directing style because it is still good, but when compared to Nolan there isn’t any real competition for me.

I know at the end of the day it’s all subjective and people are welcome to think what they want, but equally I have the right to say my opinions too. In it’s defense the article was very well written and they constructed a good and solid argument, I just felt as though some comments made strayed quite far from the truth. I’m less angry about the article now that I’ve had time to sit down and think about it, it just shows how my passion for films gets the better of me when I come face to face with someone who is equally as opinionated as me.

I think Christopher Nolan is a genius of cinema and really raised the Batman franchise to new heights after the depths it had reached after ‘Batman & Robin’. Tim Burton is very good at what he does and I do admire his work for cinema, but for me his Batman films could have been better and weren’t quite up the scratch. I still enjoy them, but they don’t quite reach the technical and artistic mastery of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. Both are important series of films and have influenced me as I’ve grown up so they both mean different things to me. Batman is franchise I feel very strongly about so at the end of the day I’m happy that both Burton and Nolan have managed to make films out of the source material without making a mess of the job like Joel Schumacher did.

Imagine if the Dark Knight trilogy was directed by Joel Schumacher. Imagining that gives me the same feeling as stroking a dog’s fur the wrong way.

Rapid Reviews – Killing Them Softly [DVD]

I remember a couple of years ago when I sat down to watch ‘The Assassination Of Jesse James…” for the first time and being completely knocked back by it. Andrew Dominik blew me away with both his directing and writing and it proved to be a very good film. Late last year Dominik presented us with his new film ‘Killing Them Softly’ and it left a similar impact on me.

It’s shorter than ‘Jesse James’ by over an hour which is a good thing because it moves at a slightly faster pace which suits the darker nature of the film. Dominik managed to draw me into a slightly different world to what we know and tell quite a simple story of what greed and desperation can do to humans. The plot is set in a criminal run city where mobsters have a lot of money whilst others live in poverty. When a mobster poker game is robbed a hired gun is brought in to clean up the mess caused to the economy. The story and screenplay are written very well and managed to keep me interested throughout.

In terms of acting the cast is superb, with Brad Pitt taking the main role of a killer who is hired to restore order to the criminal economy. His performance is very good showing a character with different layers and quite sharp personality with a clever mind. Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelson work perfectly together as the helpless duo that rob the poker game. There are also very strong supporting performances from Ray Liotta and James Gandolfini, so altogether it is a very sound cast.

For such a short film there were a lot of themes based around social inequality and what happens when people are left to the freedom of their own devices in a broken economy, also themes based on paying for your actions and justice taking its place. But what stood out for me was the themes linked to Brad Pitt’s character as the hired gun. He stood out for me because he was the man who was very much in control and could either represent salvation or damnation so it was fascinating to see how the story is influenced once he is introduced. The social inequality side was very interesting because you could see just how much is influenced the characters and their actions.

Overall I would give it three and a half stars, it works very well as a drama with some action scenes that are very well shot. It’s not perfect but Dominik has once again proved that he can shoot a gritty film that has a tight script. This was more concise than ‘Jesse James’ and was of a completely different nature, but if I’m honest that didn’t really bother me because I really enjoyed it. It’s not as good as ‘Jesse James’, which was a masterpiece, but I would still recommend it to anybody who wants to watch a good film.

Rapid Reviews – Cloud Atlas [DVD]

After buying the dvd of the film weeks ago I was heavily distracted by quite a few things before finding myself utterly bored tonight. The time had come for me to face this 165 minute film that I knew very little about. I started to watch it with an open mind, ready to be enticed in to what appeared to be quite a diverse universe for a film. I ended the film with my mind in a slightly different place. A more cynical place to be precise.

If I had to sum this film up in one sentence I think i would have to quote the good doctor Mark Kermode when he reviewed a film previously “it is really quite remarkably unremarkable”, which is exactly how I felt after watching the film. You have the source material in the form of a novel that is supposedly ‘unfilmable’ so there is quite a lot of material to use, with a lot of characters and as far as I’m aware six different stories that interweave. This doesn’t make it any more interesting and certainly doesn’t make it any more clever, and with a star studded cast it just left me feeling that after 165 minutes even they had had enough. The look in Tom Hanks’ eyes was similar to that of a postman on their duty in the winter snow simply saying over and over ‘we’re getting paid for this’.

The story bounces between the past, present and future with different stories that link together. Some link nicely and others you have to think about, which I really wasn’t willing to do because it would involve engaging myself in such a film. The characters are meant to be strong and have some form of moral and deep message behind them but to be honest it was more like a game of Guess Who for me because I was trying to spot which actor it was playing the character on screen. I’m sure other people will have found deeper meanings behind the characters and truly explored their depths, but personally I didn’t feel immersed enough to give it much thought.

The best character for me was that of Jim Broadbent in the modern day section of the story, he provided me with some entertainment through sheer good acting and sharp delivery of witty lines. As for other actors it wasn’t really a film to show off any true ability. Tom Hanks is capable of so much better as we have already seen, Ben Whishaw is still relatively young so this may end up as a film he tries not to think about once he’s older, Jim Broadbent as previously mentioned is very good, and Hugh Grant just feels like the last man on the end of a conga line at a wedding; clinging on for dear life and hoping not to go crashing in to the buffet table.

The special effects are good, but to be honest so are the effects for most sci fi bashes nowadays so it wasn’t anything bigger than your typical sci fi film. It’s just become common courtesy to put on a big flashy show if you’re going to make a sci fi film in today’s world and the same splattering of shiny technicolour whimsy that is used frequently in modern cinema was strongly present in this film. It was a sign of how unengaged I was with the film that I began questioning the designs to some of the futuristic technology and indeed the interior of some of the rooms. Some sequences look good but they all reek of other films, with the older parts looking like ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ and the futuristic sections looking like a mash up of ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Irobot’ amongst others, so it was quite a cliched glimpse in to the future.

All in all I would give it two stars out of five. I really wanted the film to be good and genuinely watched it with an optimistic mind, but after nearly three hours of a film that doesn’t really find itself or get started into something bigger, I just felt quite bored. I agree with most reviews, the film’s heart is definitely in the right place and it was a good attempt at filming such a difficult book, but in the end it wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be. I’m not sure if I will watch it again, because to be honest I don’t have that urge that wants to watch it again.

Instagram – One Of The Reasons Why People Annoy Me

I thought I would make a change from posting about film and attempt to talk about something different. As a teenager I can see the benefits to social networking, I think in some cases it’s brilliant. It allows me to communicate with people without having to walk to their house just to inquire as to how they’re feeling today. But sometimes I have to admit I get annoyed by it very easily.

It seems that in today’s world there is a very small amount of things people keep away from the public eye. In a way I miss the days when people were only just starting a Facebook profile, because it was the days when people barely posted anything, in fear of being mocked or judged by others. Those days were brilliant, the days where you got the basic facts about how someone was and what they were doing without being bombarded by pointless information. You could scroll through your news feed and see statuses like “I am in Spain at the moment. I am very Happy”. But now we have this strange situation where every thing is splattered across social networks. You’ve got where someone is, how they’re feeling, who they’re with, what colour socks they’re wearing, what drink they’ve got, it’s just getting out of hand. I know people have the freedom to post what they want, and quite rightly so, but sometimes it does seem a little excessive to be posting constantly. 

I’ve got less anger towards Facebook and Twitter because they bring me a lot of fun, through reading arguments or indeed being involved in arguments. However there is one form of social networking that annoys me to the extent of wanting to throw my phone at a wall, and that’s Instagram. I’ll say it now because I don’t want to seem like I’m being a hypocrite; I have an Instagram account and I used it for quite a long time. Nowadays my account is still open and I have the odd flick every now and then, but other than that I do not use it. Anyway, the concept is quite basic and could work nicely, if people didn’t use it for absolutely everything, and I mean everything. If you want to share a picture that your friends can see, then at least make it a picture that is worth sharing. The idea of having a photograph for me, is to capture a memory that you want to keep hold of, like on holiday or at a gig or whatever event you hold close to you, because it captures what you consider to be special and important moment that you will possibly never live again. It seems as though the concept of a picture has changed, now it seems to be something for you to get ‘likes’ on. 

Drawing on the point I made earlier about the first days of Facebook when people barely posted, and how now they post everything, Instagram is the epicenter of this nightmare. You’ve got people posting pictures of everything so that you know every tiny detail about them. ‘This is the page of the Jodi Picoult book I’m reading’ ‘I’m on the 43rd minute of an Adam Sandler film’ ‘my underwear is blue today’.  It’s even gotten to the extent now of people posting pictures of them selves in the bath! When did this start happening? When did somebody decide ‘you know what I actually feel like invading my own privacy’. Do people need to know you’re in the bath? And furthermore do we need pictorial evidence to allay our doubts? There wasn’t masses of people questioning the situation, thinking ‘maybe they’re just sat in a puddle’. It’s gotten out of control really,  I’m dreading the day I see my first snap of someone on the toilet. You may laugh at that but you’ll stop laughing eventually when you realise it will happen.

The worst thing about Instagram for me is that it’s ruining Holidays for people. Instead of going to another country and experiencing another culture, we’ve got people sat on their phones trying to decide which filter to use on the picture they have just taken of their flip flops. It just amazes me how someone can have a different country, a different culture right in front of them, and yet they would rather take a picture of themselves with their tongue out and caption it “got my sunglasses on!”. I would understand it if they were taking pictures of the country they were in and taking in the amazing views, but if you’re just taking the same stupid pictures that you take at home it seems a bit pointless. I can understand using a social network from abroad because it lets your contacts know that you’re still alive or that you’re having a good time, but if you are constantly using one whilst away then it somewhat negates the benefits of going on holiday. It makes sense wanting some pictures of yourself on holiday because they hold quite good memories for you, but there’s a line people cross that becomes excessive. There are some people I just wish I could shout at “you are in a beautiful country that is so much different from the one you live in, put your silly little phone down and appreciate where you are”. 

If you ever get Instagram you will soon find that the bane of your life becomes the hash tag. That thing is everywhere! Literally, for quite a dull picture that doesn’t have a lot of elements you’d be surprised how many ‘hashtags’ people can squeeze in. And that’s where two problems lie for me, the first is that the idea of a hashtag is that people search under that category to find pictures of that nature. So why would you need to hashtag quite a ordinary thing such as ‘#coffee’? As if there are coffee enthusiasts worldwide searching for their update on people’s caffeine intake. It just seems silly to take pictures of something that in all likelihood people have no interest in and it’s something that you come across on a daily basis. Problem number two is that people don’t know when to stop with hashtags, they overload a caption with to the extent of labeling things that are not even in the picture. You’ll see a big paragraph of ‘#girl #young #teen #blond #blueeyes #newnails #curlyhair’ which just leaves you baffled because it’s a picture of their mug of tea on a table. Are we that desperate to get ‘likes’?

Perhaps I’m just old fashioned in my views? Maybe the point of a photograph is not to capture a moment that is rare, maybe it’s now all about capturing things you experience on a daily basis, like putting socks on or brushing your teeth. I hope that’s not the case. I still can’t understand why someone would want to see a picture of something so dull like your feet, or new gloves, or the sandwich you’re having for lunch. If you took a picture and the caption was “got my new socks on” I would consider the possibility that you have quite an empty life. If however you posted a picture and the caption was “got my new socks on… and I’m on the moon” then I would take an interest and feel jealous that I’m not part of this memory. 

As I have said before I have an account, and I will admit I have fallen victim to some of the things I have mentioned (not to such an extreme extent luckily) so I can’t act completely innocent in this grand scheme of shit. I used to post pictures of the most tedious rubbish that sprang to mind “look here’s my cat” “here’s the new film I’m bought” “here’s the Neil Diamond song I’m currently listening to”.  I will say it, it’s only after you’ve looked at it from an outsider’s perspective that you realise just how stupid it all is, and it makes me feel like an idiot because I was part of it for a good seven months. There are people that post pictures of themselves three or four times a day, which to me kind of shows that they must have quite a boring life. 

The situation only gets worse from here though, camera phones are the main way we view things in today’s world. They give people the freedom to post pictures of whatever they want and post them however many times they want, but then on the other side of the coin I have the freedom to express my opinion however many times I like. In the future if any large events happen they’re not going to be viewed normally, they’re going to be viewed through the screen of a smart phone, with a filter on them to make them look slightly darker with a hint of black and white, and a pretty frame. I can’t wait.