The Age of Documentation

This is probably the most adorable advert Apple has ever commissioned. The warmth and EQ is very christmasy, the message is subtle and the technology and features (did you notice the slo mo?) have been sprinkled ever so lightly. It is the perfect concoction of subliminal messaging and good storytelling and is bound to meet Apple’s expectations on the returns.

The advert aptly captures (and attempts to vindicate) our obsession with documenting our lives. Today’s technology has aided, and exacerbated, this nature. Before Instagram, Facebook and Twitter existed, people drew self-portraits, kept diaries, wrote letters and documented life as it happened, but the technology available was never simple and accessible enough to overshadow life itself. You didn’t kiss such that you could take a selfie at the same time, you just kissed (and someone else took a picture and made it the world’s most famous kiss).

Granted that photographs and videos are amazing ways to recall our most beautiful experiences, but somewhere between the Mona Lisa and hashtag we began replacing experiences with tokens of memory. We are so busy capturing the moment (and making it look beautiful) that we hardly enjoy it. Every experience reduced to a dead digital copy, like a thin slice of our life mounted on a microscope slide, labelled, sorted and stored. And let’s not even talk about how we make it even worse by sharing these “experiences” to the world in an attempt to gain approval and feel good about ourselves.