I have just recently backed up my phone for the first time, as I somehow accidentally managed to generate nearly 16 GB of data over the past few months, despite diligently sifting through media and not having a single music file on my phone.
I am a late-comer when it comes to smartphones, and if it weren't for my constant touring and way too many booking agents and venue managers using Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp as if they were a normal text message while on the road, I would have never switched to one. I am not a huge fan of being available - and traceable - 24/7 - and to this day - I GREATLY prefer a talk to texting.
The aforementioned back-up adventure resulted in a series of flashbacks to the University times, when my entire hard-drive was around 2 GB, the first digital photo of me had about 200 pixels and a precise weight of 168 KB - and I am not all THAT old - this was in 2002.
Up until 2005, most of my photos were the good old analogue ones, when you would use a camera to capture something truly special. Selfies were out of question; random food pics at restaurants, too. Since there was a limited amount of shots per film, you would think twice if to snap a pic or not.
Nowadays, the whole concept of photography has changed. We take pics in order to share them with the world for a moment - and forget them within the next two seconds. Everything is a fucking subject - from a cappuccino to a shoelace - and the resulting information overload is immeasurable.
As a consequence, the average attention span of a functional modern society human is that of a child with a severe ADHD in the '90s.
The good part is - we subconsciously train our eye to notice beauty in small, everyday things - which can be very rewarding. The unsettling part - we apply filters to create an Insta-reality, a bettered version that finds no true correspondence in the real world - that can appear pretty grim, when compared to the polished-up version. I joined the Instagram this year, and I am very guilty of the same, too.
My childhood and my teen pictures are inevitably liked to memories - the photo albums each have their unique smell, their unique feel and their unique place in my physical space - I know where to trace nearly each and every shot. Four years ago, I went back to developing the most important photographies of most important moments of my family life and putting them into photo albums again - and those photos have the same lovely "priceless-memory" quality to themselves.
On the other hand, my hard-drive now, after my first smartphone update is, for sure, full of data I need for my work - set pics, work in progress pics, but among those, there is a TREMENDOUS amount of digital junk.
From time to time, I do sift through my hard-drives and eliminate all the files I don't find strictly necessary or exceptional - however, when it comes to sifting through huge amounts of pics and videos, my personal bar gets lower and lower with the amount of the images I get to see: I am VERY strict at the beginning and very sloppy towards the end. This inevitably leaves way too many files around - most of them I will likely look up only during my next sifting-throught mission.
Then I think of the generations born from 2000 and on, the kids who grew up with selfies already in the elementary school age, the babies and toddlers who have their entire childhood posted on Facebook and Instagram, and first of all, I thank Universe that I wasn't born any later than the good old early '80s. My tacky teen fails, my stupid statements, my inebriated moments will only be remembered by the streets of Belgrade, Padova, Venice... and well, perhaps my friends - those who were sober enough to remember, that is ;) .
I quietly promise to myself to regress to my good old Nokia brick only (I still have one and yes it is in flawless use for 10 years now!), the moment I piss out two positive lines on a pregnancy test, and limit the smartphone to work-only - by then I hope to have a poor agent-slave to take care of all the (anti)-social media for me, haha. (NOTE TO SELF: check this blog post in a few years to see what you have done out of this promise - if you remember writing it, that is.)
What is the next step to follow - when the Facebook and Instagram era come to an end (and they will as everything flows down here and MySpace also seemed immortal) - will we evolve to some more balanced version the society and of ourselves within the society - or will we perpetuate the same model to yet another extreme, until we all collapse underneath? Because we are not biologically programmed for handling this amount of information, concentration and multitasking - our Neocortex took a while to develop, and as hard as we try - the biological evolution is always slower than the cultural one. Plus - the genetical advantage perpetuates only if we live to transfer our genes to the next generations - and it is a well-documented fact that higher education, career and life-standard is linked to having less kids per individual.
Something to chew on on this rainy day in Berlin...