Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Picture This

We all like stats and bizarre numbers and sometimes one comes along that makes you go wow!

10% of all photographs ever taking were taken last year. In fact just to add to that thought in 2011 it was estimated that the number of photos appearing on the Facebook, all 140 billion of them, represented 4% of all the photographs ever taken.

Of course, and I am going to sound like photo luvvie here adopting the voice of Brian Sewell, there are photos and there are photos and we are not talking about the golden age of photographic art here just the mass availability of devices on which we can take photographs and the Internet based sites available to display them.

When Channel 4 ran one of those Top 100 lists a few years ago, this one was on inventions, somebody suggested Flickr as an example of how the taking of photographs had been revolutionised simply by making a site available for everybody to contribute to - the democratisation of the Internet in full flow. Flickr has become a great online resource and among the endless kittens and pictures of readers wives (trust me, putting online any photograph of a scantily clad model attracts a strange mix of 'followers')  collections there is some genuine art and there is the facility for an exchange of ideas and questions that didn't exist previously.

With regards to Facebook, apparently the biggest demographic in the U.K are 25-34 year old married women, a fact I would suggest that leaves itself open to any number of prejudices! Looking at a selection of photographs that have been posted I have to say that the sexist pig in me is stirred and prodded, food recipes, cats, Christmas trees, nights out (mainly on very poor quality phones), magpie philosophy, have as much of an appeal to me as an explanation of the offside law has to my female colleagues - men and women truly are from different planets.

Then there are 'selfies' and 'photobombing' which would be funny if done once and shown to your mates but when pushed out into the wider world really do become self indulgent - yes as a blog writer I am aware of the irony here - and people complaining about them whilst posting endless selfies (yes Ms Lily Allen I'm looking at you) really do confirm that it is all about the 'look at me I must be important' approach to life that seems ubiquitous at the beginning of this century.

Still, I suppose rather than be Mr Grumpy about the whole thing I should just accept it all as being part of our western lifestyle and be grateful that at least we are free to make arses of ourselves without fear of reprisals (within reason on both counts of course).


A Northern Bloke said...

That is one amazing statistic, Paul.

I would never have guessed it was that high.

I wonder if something similar happened, in terms of the number of books read, after the printing press was invented.

Span Ows said...

Indeed...amazing. Not sure re number of books but the use of a telephone would show similar stats: 44 years ago a large percentage of houses had no phone...this has progressed to most houses having a phone to most people having a phone so - admittedly a few years ago probably - the same stat could be said for phone calls made.

Paul said...

Thank you both for your comments, my activity is a bit slow at the moment!

Books didn't really start selling in large quantities until the end of the 19th century, thanks in no small part to the Education Act and even then attempts to get more people to read failed to a large degree because the type of books available were mainly educational types.

Phones is a good point because over the period Span says things have gone almost full circle. The number of houses with a landline is in decline and last year Virgin predict that business landlines would almost vanish by 2017 - what they failed to take into account is that the existence of a landline is used by Govt bodies such as the HMRC to check the legitimacy of a business.