It’s Foodie Tuesday!
What is it with food and Instagram? I’ve come across a considerable number of jokes and memes that poked fun at people’s penchant for taking photos of their food, that it made me realize the enormity of this social media phenomenon, and its implications on mores and culture.
It must have started back in the early days of Facebook when people felt compelled to fill that empty status box. It led to (over)sharing the most trivial details of their day with friends, family, and anyone else who would care, or not care, to know. And when the time came when said updates could be accompanied with photographs, which could be taken using internet-ready phones and gadgets, really started heating up! Food makes for an infinitely more pleasing photography subject than one’s workstation or the traffic situation on the way to school. Enter Instagram with its retro filters and its promise of visual feasts and we’ve got a full-blown food photography mania.
I admit, I’m about as guilty of as anyone. I went through phases of sending out too much information too. Good thing that privacy issues and creepy cyberstalking stories led to more prudent social media sharing habits. Although when it comes to food, I usually get too excited that all thought of documenting the foodie moment flies right out the window the moment whatever steaming plate of something lands in front of me. I just forget myself and only remember my camera when I’m well past sated. I make up for this lack by following a lot of foodies on Instagram and liking all the awesome food shots I encounter.
But is it starting to get out of hand? This article from Petapixel talks about people standing up on their chairs to shoot their meals, and camera flashes bothering other diners, generally behaving in such a way that seems to push the boundaries of courtesy. It has gotten to the point that certain restaurants have had to come up with restrictions on food photography.
Are we getting obsessed with the shoot-and-share habit? Has it become a hindrance to real-life, face-to-face sharing and real-time, real-world experience?
This calls to mind one of my favorite John Mayer songs, 3×5, which I have sung to myself pretty often in the past several months, when my digital camera was out of commission, and whenever I forgot to bring any type of camera, or forget to charge my smartphone.
Didn’t have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that we all need to be reminded that inasmuch as we love taking glorious pictures — of food and everything else, sharing them, and appreciate other people’s pictures too, we shouldn’t forget to step out from behind the lens, “see the world with [our] own eyes,” and just enjoy the moment. Because otherwise, what’s the point?