I like how everyone has a complicated, technology-involving passion these days. All around me, all I see is “i can’t breathe without my iPod” “i refuse to bake the cake without my pedometer” “photography is my passion.”
The world and its sister is now on FB, which in itself is a huge leap for hitherto technologically-challenged ladies and gents. I am all for aunties and uncles getting on FB and using it just the way it suits them. I don’t expect them to use involved applications or constantly update their statuses (which, unfortunately, they do. In all-caps, no less.) If all they want it for is to stalk their first love, who am I to judge them?
See, I don’t mean to be judgemental (at least not more than the ordinary dose of it) and it’s perfectly okay I think what these people with talent, time and a laptop are doing. My grouse actually, really, seriously begins after all this exhibitionism. With the gorgeous device that is the digital camera, just about everyone has developed a passion for photography. I sound like a sour old aunt but the truth is just because you take pictures of pigeons crapping on your balcony at the crack of dawn does not make you a photographer. It makes you a highly irritating human element in the natural order of things. I am sick to the gills of seeing flowers, sunsets and random defecating birds as products of this new “passion” so many middle-aged women with time on their hands have picked up. Nor can photography be your passion if all you ever do is stick the camera in someone else’s hands and pose the living day lights out of yourself. Oh wait, maybe that can be a passion for photography — by being the subject of it. Hmmm.
But no, just because you take pictures of everything you do when you are dressed up nicely doesn’t make your passion photography. It does if you say so, but don’t expect me to believe it and appreciate your under-exposed exhibitionism. Which I have nothing against, by the way (the exhibitionism, not the under-exposure). Those of you on my friends list on FB know how much of my life I share there. But see, photography is actually a passion with me. I’ve been doing it since I was 14, if not earlier. When you had to pay for film, when you had to know how to load the thing, when you actually had to pay for the prints and couldn’t afford to click 65 shots of your rotten yellow rose blooming in the morning, unless you were very rich. I’d like to ask how many of these “Photography-is-my-passion” aunties and uncles knew how to load films in the pre-digital days. Or how many of them would indeed continue annoyingly clicking the way they do now if they had to pay Rs 8 per matte-finish print.
It’s the same with the iPhone. First of all, it’s a limiting, problem-riddled phone to use. (The minute Apple does something that is actually cutting edge, I’ll be the first to fall at their feet and build them a shrine. But till then they’ll just have to keep making money off unsuspecting people who overpay for all the products and then spend some more to keep the damn things going.) To top that off, all these overzealous uncles –with 42 thumbs — have gone out in droves to pick it up and now can’t stop comparing what the others do on theirs. Have you tried deciphering their text messages? Hello, even the iPad is retro now, so get over your little toys, already.
Because seriously, if you tell me that you’ve always been into technology and don’t know any other smart phone apart from your precious iPhone or you can’t expand SLR, then I just won’t believe you when you say photography is your passion. Seeing pictures of yourself? Yes, that might be a passion. Randomly disturbing dawn birds? Yes, that too could be your passion. Annoying the crap out of people around you by blinding them with your flash? Yes, that too. But courtesy and integrity demand that if you have developed a passion for taking pictures, the least you do is know a little more about stuff. Otherwise it’s just you trying to look better than MonikaSuryaKrishnaAnitaMahesh on FB.