Are Photos Stealing Your Soul?

Some say certain tribes from all over the world have believed in the past that a photograph can steal your soul.

More recently, studies have suggested that taking pictures actually makes it harder to remember an event. I guess since we have a physical record of it, we let the mental record slip. And then when we look at the photo, we let that serve as the memory instead of revisiting the moment in our minds.

But the other day I realized that photos have been stealing my soul in a different way. When I find myself in a picturesque moment, instead of basking in the joy of life, I sometimes feel the drive to preserve it in a picture.

This desire comes not so much for the actual happiness the moment is bringing me, but for the satisfaction I think I can get from sharing the picture. It’s like I want others to see the picture, and affirm, “Yes. You look very cool sitting on that hay bale by the fire.”

So really I am trading the opportunity for a moment’s joy for the hope of a little attention.

I decided I am not going to do that anymore. Let the pictures happen naturally if they will, but no more ruining the moment to try to trade it for cheap pleasure later.

I am going to breath-in the situation, because if I feel like I want to take a picture, it usually means I feel I am in the right place, doing something which I think represents me, makes me feel like myself, and is the essence of me. Why shouldn’t that be enough?

But I still like taking pictures for the fun of it sometimes, and I certainly wouldn’t criticize any photo-lovers. I just am going to make sure I don’t ruin any moments worth more than the picture.

For everything else, there is instagram.


When discussing the philosophy of things we cannot possible know for sure or prove true, all words must be a metaphor. What will you see reflected in the pages of Never too late to Liberate? Read it now before it’s released.

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