Our family possess one picture of my great grandmother. The photo, now worn at the edges and discolored from the oxygen of time, captures a middle-aged, distinguished woman looking out at the viewer with poise; her expression tells that she is keenly aware of the camera, and also keenly aware of the fact that this will be the one and only image of her that her great grandchildren will see.
Our family cherishes this picture; it’s everything we’ll ever know about her life, save for the details passed down in anecdotes from my grandmother, who is increasingly losing her memory.
In contrast, I estimate that there are more than a thousand pictures of me on the internet. Pictures I’ve posted in blogs, on Instagram, and of course, on Facebook—don’t get me started on the amount of photos I have on Facebook. There are albums on my Facebook account of special occasions: road trips, vacations, graduation ceremonies; albums of my twentieth birthday, my twenty-first birthday, my twenty-second birthday—you get the picture (pun intended). So long as the internet exists,these images will exist; my grandchildren and great grandchildren, and great great great grandchildren will have access my life in a way unimaginable to my great grandmother and the photographer taking her picture.
The internet has a memory. It’s a warning that parents (should) give to their kids prior to opening a Facebook account and it’s the lesson taught in media studies classrooms throughout universities; we’re documenting our own lives, telling our own stories using applications and social networks that seem to cater to our desire to be remembered, to leave impressions.
Earlier this year, Social Times’ writer Megan O’Neil covered a story about an iPhone app that allows you to take a picture of yourself everyday. Noah Kalina became a kind of social media celebrity when he created a video composed of all of the pictures he’d taken of himself on his iPhone for six years. Later, he developed an iPhone app called Everyday that allowed people to follow suit. Basically, the app sends you a daily reminder to snap a picture of yourself, and if you do so, you can turn your images into a great time-lapse video of yourself.
Only months after the apps release, we’re not surprised to find out a number of people have taken the everyday challenge, transforming each day of their life into a work of art.
ClickFlashWhirr is a “daily photo project” which can be followed here. The project has been going strong for four-and-a-half years. Watch the video, and you’ll see the same set of oval eyes staring out at you amidst a whirl of different hairstyles, outfits, and backdrops. Now one might ask, why would anyone do that?
Looking at the lone picture of my great grandmother, I think I have an idea.
Have you been using Everyday? We’d love to see your video! Tweet your videos to@AmandaCosco.