Is it really a kodak moment?

Tonight on the way home from the opening of a photographic exhibition, which contained thoughtfully composed beautiful images, I had to slow down to allow a koala to cross the road. 

Whilst seeing a koala crossing the road is not an everyday occurrence in my neck of the woods it does happen every couple of months. As I slowed the car I briefly thought I should pull over and take a photo.

Then I realised that not every moment is a kodak moment. Rather than sharing a blurry photo of a koala which would probably be running away by the time I stopped the car and got out, I thought I should just enjoy the moment. 

I’m surprised at the rubbish photos people share online. It’s obvious that for those posting the photos that they mean something. The photos capture a moment but for us the viewer they are likely to be virtually meaningless.  I’m perplexed by the need to photograph everything and share it online.

Back in the days of film cameras we were much more thoughtful about the photos we took. Film was expensive and the processing was not cheap. To get photos processed it could take a couple of days so you had to keep your fingers crossed that all your photos didn’t come back with the little ‘helpful’ stickers telling you your photo was over exposed.

Now with almost no effort and in under 10 seconds anyone with a smart phone and a social media account can post a photo online. But just because they can doesn’t mean they should. My personal pet peeve is when people and organisations share every photo from an event. They don’t care about the quality of the photos, if they are in focus, they post copies of virtually the same photo and they obviously don’t care if the photos are any good.  Both individuals and organisations that does this just makes look like they don’t know what they are doing. 

Sometimes Dear Reader is it just better to enjoy the moment, be in that moment and not worry about sharing it with your Facebook friends, Twitter or Instagram followers. Because let’s face it, just because you can take a photo of everything all the time doesn’t mean you should. 

 

NB: there are no photos in this post especially not one of a koala running away.

Keeping other people off the radar

Having spent a couple of days off the radar and reflecting on how much information I share online has been personally very interesting and made me think about what I post. In the future I plan to be more considered with my online posts. I don’t want to say something just because I can, I want to make sure that when I say something it is interesting, funny or maybe even useful.

I spent today with some friends and their gorgeous baby. My mind turned to what happens when other people put you on the radar without you knowing. More specifcally what if by the time you are one year old or ten years old you have a digital footprint that you didn’t know about and don’t have any control over.

How will my friends son feel when he is a teenager or an adult knowing that somewhere out there on the Internet there are pictures of him he didn’t put there and he might not like? Interestingly my friend told me she has made a deliberate decision to only post ‘nice’ pictures of her son and not to post many pictures of him as she wants to keep his digital footprint small.

The topic of posting pictures online is a very tricky area, and there are likely to be lots of opinions. Firstly I should declare I’m not a parent but I do think it’s an interesting topic that I would like to explore further in future posts but first I turn to you Dear Reader.

There is a whole industry of books, websites and experts offering parenting advice and most of the parents I know find and use what works for them and their family. There are lots of different ways to successfully raise a child.

I would be interested to hear what you have found works for you and your family when it comes to posting pictures and information online.

– What do you think about posting pictures of your children online?
– Do you have any rules about what you will and won’t post?
– Do you post the names of your children online?
– Do your children know their pictures are posted online?
– Do you have your own rules about posting pictures and information about your children online?

As I said I don’t know what the right answer is but I would like to explore this topic further.

Any comments happily received. 🙂

Oops…missed one

I read once that it takes 30 days to make a new habit, and I’m only 17 days into my new habit  so forgive me for my first (and probably not my last) slip.

But I think I have a good reason for missing yesterday’s blog post, I was thinking. I was thinking globally. I was thinking with people all around the world. This is the real power of the internet, connecting people. 

I’m working as part of a small team doing the Acumen ‘Human-Centred Design for Social Innovation Course. There’s us and 1000’s of other people around the world. One of our first tasks was to take a picture of our team and post it to the course Google+ group. I was amazed to see pictures of teams from around the world, there are currently 3,850 people in the Google group for the course. There are teams in Sao Paulo, Osaka, Berlin, Indonesia, San Francisco and right around the corner in Wellington New Zealand. 

The idea of nearly 4,000 people working in small groups but sharing their ideas, learnings and outcomes with people around the world blows my mind. 

Thanks to the internet the ease with which people around the world are able to share and collaborate is breath taking. I realise of course that there are people who can not access the internet and are excluded from such collaborations. But I do really believe that programs such as this are part of the process to finding solutions to getting more people online, and allowing anyone to join in.

Rather than writing a blog post about e-learning this post is about the ease of connection, with people I don’t know but I at least have one thing in common. We are all interested in learning more about Human Centred Design. 

What amazes me is not the course (though the course is great) but the fact that thanks to the internet I can share ideas with people, strangers, around the world and work to find big and small solutions for them, me and others. 

The technology that makes the internet work is truly amazing and I have to admit I really don’t understand most of it. However the real power of the internet is the people who use it. Now we all just have to make sure that we use the bits, bytes, atoms and cables to do something amazing and not just post hilarious videos about cats (even though cats are and this video is awesome).