The Death of Nostalgia? Favorite 



Apr 20 2018



It’s warm, fuzzy emotion that we feel when we think about fond memories from our past.
“Nostalgia,” explains University of Surrey School of Psychology lecturer Dr. Erica Hepper, “often feels bittersweet — mostly happy and comforting, but with a tinge of sadness that whatever we’re remembering is lost in some way.” It’s powerful force in our lives, considering all the complex emotions that makes up the feeling: a connection to those in our past and present, a memory from a happier time, a boost of motivation. It can all be stemmed from nostalgia.

Photographs are a prime catalyst of nostalgia: a split second cross-section of our lives connecting viewers by ways of their settings, subjects, and purpose. However, as photography shifts from print to digital, we have to wonder how it alters its nostalgic effect. With the ability to easily view, capture, and manipulate your photos on the fly, the significance of that fleeting moment seems to diminish. Andrew Drier, a St. Petersburg, FL life coach, encourages his clients to limit their photography when engaging in an activity to enhance and fully take in the experience. “If you and a friend were to go to a concert, one spends the whole night chasing the perfect Instagram photo and Snapchatting their friends, while you may snap a single picture to remember later, whose memory of the event will be more valuable?” Your friend may be able to pull their video up to remember at any time, but their emotions will never match those of the viewer who experienced the event with their full attention.

Social media, to nobody’s surprise, is a killer of attention. Referred to as Bragstagram or Curation Station, Instagram is a highly processed and curated view of people’s lives. Instagram, Facebook, & Snapchat are treated as retainers for images, just like a photo album or shoe box have been in the past. But what will the process of looking back become? Will your older self or even future generations look back to your selfies and pristine food flat-lays and emotionally experience that moment? Nostalgia is lost.

The further we stray from raw photography, with settings, subjects, and purpose that matter to us on a personal level, the further we stray from that highly sought after “warm, fuzzy feeling” of looking back to our past. Let your photography inform the viewer of you, the subject, instead of letting the viewer and subjects inform who you are.

Watch Frank take on digital photography all by himself!

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