As fate would have it, I’ve barely arrived home, and today I’m on the road again, this time to attend the funeral of a much beloved aunt. She was 91, and had lived a good, full life, but it’s times like this that tend to make one a bit introspective about life.
Last week my friend and I were on the Staten Island Ferry on the return to Manhattan. We had gotten a great seat at the front, but the deck quickly filled and our view was blocked. All the tourists were busy taking photos of each other when my friend observed that none of them were actually enjoying the place and that they could have been anywhere, even in an empty room, for all they took notice of the terrific skyline.
Her words sort of shocked me, but then I observed, and realized she was correct. It was actually more important to people that they document their presence on the ferry than to stand and enjoy the spectacular view.
As the ferry approached the dock, the hoards left to prepare to disembark. It was then that we were left with this world class view.
I think that having such easy access to digital cameras with the instant playback of images has altered how we view the world and how we take photographs. I know that I’m not nearly as careful with digital as I was with film, that I’ll say to myself that if one shot is good, why not take two, or three. But now I realize that I need to spend more time looking instead of snapping.
And all I have to say about cell phones is that it is rude to play with them at meals. Seriously, put the phone down and enjoy your dinner companions and the meal before you.