Balance and Lifelogging

By on


[This post is in response to Smarter than You Think... A week late... too bad I didn't have some Lifelog apparatus to help me not forget....week 3 blog commenters, carry on.]

Smarter Than You Think is very thought provoking, and embraces a topic that I know only a tiny bit about. Thompson’s anecdotes of lifeloggers were wholly terrifying to me. After being thoroughly creeped out for a a page or so, I asked myself—what is so terrifying about this? I am a social media junkie—to a fault, I’d say—and a photographer, a writer, someone curated to record and document, recall and describe. But lifelogging takes it too far for me.

too many cameras

I think Thompson answers the questions for me when he writes, “People want their memories to be cued, not fully replaced; we reserve the existential pleasures of gently rewriting our history” (42). The idea of having the past preserved so meticulously like a mummy actually sucks the life out of what was and it seems to deflate its very purpose. It seems more of a body without a soul when every. little. thing. is recorded. Something seems unhealthy here.


On a less intense level, this is a concept I think about often. I am a photographer and I constantly weigh the benefits of documenting events and moments to cherish later against the sacredness of living fully in the moment and not recording them through photos. I haven’t quite figured out the balance yet.