Look Up- Seeing

“By looking and engaging with images in the world, we influence the meanings and uses assigned to the images that fill our day-to-day lives” (Sturken et al, 2001).

What would a day without technology be like? For some that is a worrying concept, no social media, internet, video games it would involve actual human interaction! Scary right? Well if we actually think about it it could be exciting and invigorating. Those who are fortunate enough to have technology as part of their everyday lives perhaps perceive, see and look at the world around them in a different light to those who didn’t-our parents and grandparents.

children-and-computers1          57a80912e18543081b5d380e88c9a199

“A large part of seeing depends upon habit and convention” (Berger, 1972). Within John Berger’s Ways of Seeing within his collections of videos he sheds light upon the notion that there is indeed a difference between seeing and perceiving and the ways in which it has revolutionized in today’s ever-changing society. Everyday, we practice looking to make sense of the world. “To see is a process of observing and recognizing the world around us. to look is to actively make meaning of that world” (Sturken et al, 2001).

The images we encounter daily are brought to us through various different aspects of technology, marketing,news, cultural images and business. The society live in is becoming increasingly “image saturated” and in some cases (mostly the younger generation) it is influencing the ways in which people are interacting with others, in their community, their peers and family alike. Take a step back and look, look up and realise that the technology which is taking the world by storm, is  anything but social. Once one becomes engrossed with opening the door to social media they are, ultimately closing the door to communication first hand with people on a personal basis. In February 2012, Facebook reported 845 million active daily users, There’s no skipping or hopscotch, no church and no steeple, we’re a generation of idiots, smart phones and dumb people. So look up from your phone, shut down that display, take in your surroundings, and make the most of today!

einstein 2

Representation is  crucial- apparently! Young people today are focusing on self-interest, self-image but are leaving their emotion aside. Editing aspects of their appearance that they are conditioned to believing that it is socially expected to portray only “their good side”. Celebrities have a major role to play in this, however it is easy to point the finger in their direction, at the end of the day they are their own person. It is the social media who we should focus our attention towards. Their idle gossip and representation of celebs are not always accurate, they are airbrushed representations, literally!

this is not a debate about the negative aspects that technology has brought about, indeed, there has been much positive factors to take into account such as science and medicine, however the topic on hand is young people and lack of interaction they are having with each other, actual eye contact, face to face contact, its bleak!

For the purpose of this research assignment I challenged myself to a day without social media as opposed to technology altogether. Naively, I thought this was no problem and it wasn’t a problem as such. However, I did not last the whole day only a couple hours passed when I unconsciously found myself checking the latest feeds on Facebook! This is not to say it cannot be done, maybe a more realistic approach is to try to limit the usage, especially when in company.

Just one connection is all it can take to show the difference being there can make.


Berger, J (1972) Ways of Seeing Available at:https://youtu.be/0pDE4VX_9Kk

Sturken, M., Cartwright, L, 2001. Practices of Looking: image, power, and politics. In Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. Oxford University Press, Oxford ; New York.  Representation, and the myth of photographic truth.


One comment

  1. Thanks for your post. It is an enjoyable piece and your use of visuals is good. Just a few things. Please, incorporate tags and categories to the post. Also, try to relate those general statements to perhaps some of your own experiences? Talking/showing specific examples always brings about depth to your arguments as well as adding a layer of empathy and emotional response. Have you tried to go one day without technology? This topic could actually work for your visual essay!


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