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Opposing Column: Posed pictures with friends take away from the experience

Opposing+Column%3A+Posed+pictures+with+friends+take+away+from+the+experience

In today’s digital age, hanging out with friends is not like it used to be. Taking photos is more accessible than ever, and the photos we take can be shared instantaneously with friends and family through social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Despite many seeing that as a positive way to preserve fun memories, the implications of taking photos are less fun and more stressful.

Hangouts can easily turn from a carefree time to catch up with your friends to constantly worrying about your appearance in case someone takes a photo to post on social media. Then, your intimate group meet-up turns into something others can easily view and comment about on social media.

Taking photos itself is a difficult task. It takes a lot of effort to find the perfect location, pose and angle for your photos. Additionally, we often reflect on a photo and become hyper-critical of our appearances, requiring more takes until we feel our smile looks just right, our hair sits nice, and our body is posed correctly. This by itself is stressful, but afterwards the stress only continues.

Often, we still focus on our looks when we reflect on a photo, rather than the backstory of the pictures. Think about it: the purpose of a photo is to look back at the moment the photo was taken and feel what you felt then, but posing unnaturally takes away from that nostalgia.

Not only are posed photos stressful to take, but they don’t show the true story of your experiences. Rather, they are artificial, carefully chosen pictures that depict your most “perfect” parts—a portrayal of who we want people on social media to see, rather than our most authentic self.

Photos also take away from enjoying the present moment. We are already glued to our phones constantly, and it’s important for our overall well-being to spend time off of them. A hangout with friends is the perfect opportunity to spend time offline and enjoy each other’s company, cherishing the time we have together, rather than focusing on documenting it for others to see.

While posed photos have their flaws, I’ll likely continue to capture a few of my favorite candid moments with my friends through photos. However, next time, it’s important to try to focus on other parts of the picture like how I was feeling and what I was doing, rather than my physical appearance. Like the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but not all of those are positive ones.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Keira Kress at [email protected].

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