Sentimental Worth

Randy Mora/YCN
Randy Mora/YCN

Memory is a vital cognitive operation that carries us through life. Without it, where would we be? With an overwhelming force of the uses of technology, it is questionable as to whether our memory is being affected. Its notable disruption is upon the sentimental value we place upon memory.

It is important I start by looking at the uses of the camera. From its first introduction, the camera opened up the possibility to capture the unseen. Presenting news to the world, it offered a new insight; war photography being a perfect example. But, fast-forward a few more years and the camera has become compact, cheaper and within nearly every household. By using this handy tool it’s owners could capture experiential moments in which only their mind could once hold. The photograph became a reminder as one revisits. Nostalgia kicks in; sentimental value is projected upon the photographs before them. Our memory has grappled feeling onto this object withdrawn from a moment that once was.

To why I speak in the past tense in relation to memory is due to the debatable question of whether imagery’s role within their relationship still stands. With a technology obsessed generation it can be seen to have disrupted this coexistence. Technology has been and still is an important step forward that has been created; I cannot doubt that in anyway. However, in relation to our experiences that formulate emotion, leading to a stimulating value within our memory, it is hard not to see its fault upon us.

Our access to the lens is at it’s highest, with their being not only analog but SLR, compact digital, video, webcam and those found within our trusty friends the mobile. We can record and capture every moment engaged in. But this overdosing of imagery demoralises it’s context and worth as soon as another 10+ photos have been taken of this very moment. We are spending less time creating said sentimental value through experience. Instead we are leaving ourselves to live through the image that has withdrawn the moment from us. No feelings are exactly attached because not many are being formulated or expressed. The photo library of your Iphone becomes the experiencer. It is living the moment more than the many that uphold its viewfinder to perceive. Of course, we may always look back and ‘Remember that time we took that photo?’ But where is the feeling? Where is the experience? Does anyone truly even recall a majority of the photos found within the photo library’s created? Or is it documentation of our lack of experiencing through our own viewfinders that can be backdated within cognitive thought. After all, jpegs are deteriorating before us each time we open them, just like the use of our memory. Sentimental value is minimizing but our begrudging photo taking fulfil us. Our memory is starting to fall short all in the name of technology.

experiencing through our own viewfinders that can be backdated within cognitive thought. After all, jpegs are deteriorating before us each time we open them, just like the use of our memory. Sentimental value is minimizing but our begrudging photo taking fulfil us. Our memory is starting to fall short all in the name of technology.

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