Consider, for a moment, the emotional power of photography: That Times Square kiss on V-J Day. The Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack. A man standing in front of a line of tanks in Tiananmen Square. This photo of your dessert last night at Per Se. Oh, wait. How did that one get in there?
Thanks to our gratuitous postings on Instagram and Facebook, that’s how. With the dawn of social media and phone cameras, we’re sharing photos like we just don’t care. Yes, please take a picture of your claw-clenched hand showing off your French manicure. By all means, show us your tuna tartare and filet mignon and oysters, or your styrofoam bowl of cup noodles if that’s your thing. Yes, you’ve put a filter on it to make it look “vintage,” and yes, your framing makes it look delicious. But our obsessive need to document the banality of everyday life certainly wouldn’t be missed if the world ends on Friday. (And hey, if it does — better Instagram that, too. The best picture you’ll ever take, guaranteed.)