A group of friends sit in a bustling bar. It’s a birthday, they look their best and everyone can see it. Not the people there with them in the bar, no their phone contacts, their Instagram followers, your most snapped. Through eyes of their fellow punters they are a group with added artificial appendages strapped to their hands where bright flashes and risen arms catch moments in videos and pictures. These are the nights out that never happen.
The Social Network generation have gone beyond mere phones in hands during conversations and social events. An accelerating pressure beyond the need to be in know, in the loop and not missing out has been replaced with the need for everyone to be absolutely sure that you’re having a good time, even if in the process you’re missing the whole experience of being there. Rather than chat with friends, and experience BEING, the disposition of the twenty something’s “living” the best years of their carefree lives must be sure that everyone is seeing them. How they look, what their friends are saying, the 20 photos taken before leaving the house resulting in missing the last 20 minutes of happy hour, wondering how in all this uploaded calamity there was a moment of pause where they could wish a friend happy birthday, ingest the burger they added four filters on, on instagram or drank the 2 for 1 cocktail they pose coyly with in a hashtagged image.
I wonder if this is to do with the rise of the tinder fad, the confirmed actuality that this world is a competitive one for love and attention purely based on looks. But not just your aesthetics. Your constructed image, the places you go, what you eat who you know, what your friends look like, what you look like. The question is no longer one for most of capturing memories. It is an advertisement, a billboard of you, looking for accreditation. These pressures are real, they are understandable.
However, next time you realise you have a 110 second snapstory of your friends awkwardly smiling as the camera rotates around the table capturing faces lit up by bright phones while life continues around you,
is it a memory of a night out that never happened?….