The 3 am Rant: The Look At Me Generation


I’ve never been a big fan of having my photo taken, even on holidays it is rare for me to be photographed unless I am with friends who want a picture. I don’t feel that the world is missing out because there are few photos of me especially now that I’m way past my best. However, it seems that I’m in the minority as the whole world seems intent on immortalising themselves on social media.

Now it seems to me that many people have become so obsessed with selfies that they travel the world photographing themselves without actually noticing the scenery. In Singapore  we went for a ride on a sampan in the shopping centre at Marina Bay Sands. Two young girls with a small child sat in front of us and honestly I think they wasted their money on the ride as they spent the entire trip taking photos of each other and the child. Not once did they look at where they were going.

Selfies on the sampan

Everywhere we went we encountered tourists being photographed or taking selfies in front of tourist attractions. Well of course at a popular attraction whether it be Gardens on the Bay in Singapore or the Sydney Opera House you are going to have to deal with crowds and it’s almost impossible to get a photo without some people in it. Even forty years ago when I first visited Sydney there were tourists who would ask us if we’d take a photo of them with their cameras. I don’t really mind that so much.  It’s a nice  holiday memory. Now people don’t just do a quick pose in front of the attraction though. They have to strike a pose, jump in the air, wave their arms around or pose like they are in that famous scene from “Titanic”.  And it’s not just one photo, they have to have dozens. Then there are the ones with the selfie sticks who march around getting into everyone elses’ picture without so much as an “I beg your pardon.”

Taking photos at Garden’s on the Bay.

I”ve noticed that people who actually enjoy photography are a bit more polite, they take their pictures and then move on so someone else can have a go but the selfie brigade notice nothing but their own faces. It does  make me mad that so many of these people are bad mannered and inconsiderate of others but it also makes me think that so many of them are missing the point of travel by focussing so much on themselves and not what’s going on around them.

 

Author: Taswegian1957

Born in England in 1957 my family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. David passed away in 2015 and I'm here on my own now but I have Cindy the dog and Polly the cat to keep me company. I currently co-write two Wordpress blogswith my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and a "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania.

2 thoughts on “The 3 am Rant: The Look At Me Generation”

  1. I regular see this in our historical district. For example in front of the Holsten Gate… back then you would have seen people pointing their cameras at the gate. Today you see the people standing with the back to the landmark, but pointing their mobile phones to the face and building. They just want a “Been there” photo but it doesn’t really look like they would be interested in the architecture. Exceptions are maybe Asian (I guess Japanese or Chinese) tourists, no joke, they always point their cameras directly to the landmark, and even after taking the shot you see them pointing with the finger to the building, and talking in their language, which makes you assume they discuss and enjoy the moment.

    Last autumn I went through the gate and a couple approached me, they were friendly and noticed my camera and asked “Hey photographer, can you take a shot us in front of the gate?”. They gave me their smartphone, that alone was funny, because as friendly as they were, I would have had no issue to take the shot with my camera and sending it via email. But that is another story. It was just an example that fits as well, because once I took the shot with their phone, they simply moved on. All they needed was a selfie in front of a landmark. Afterwards they didn’t care. I always thought these are modern tourists, want to see as much as possible, not spending much time at each please except the minute they take a selfie.

    But in reality it’s just what you said, the Instagram generation or social media generation in general. We take photos in the family, but I guess we’re far away from being selfie addicted. The whole selfie and social media stuff is getting out of control 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Dennis, that is my point exactly. I’m not objecting to people wanting to have a photo with a landmark. I’ve been asked to take pictures with a tourists phone or camera and I assume they prefer this so they can be sure of having the photo and not relying on a random stranger to send it to them. I just feel that many don’t care about what they are seeing but just “the moment”. It is certainly getting out of control but I see no way to stop it that would not disadvantage genuine photographers.

      Liked by 1 person

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