Given the proliferation of options, how should I document this cat?
For some, though certainly not everyone, this question is becoming increasingly difficult to answer. The most obvious answer is “don’t document that cat. Enough already.” I’m with you. I’m concerned about how social media documentation changes experience [see here, here, here, here]. I think there is good reason for why these types of documentation proliferate: most importantly, to be on social media in all its various forms is, for many, to exist. PJ Rey does an excellent job at explaining why it’s not so easy to just opt-out of all of this. In any case, this is not a post about whether this expansion in the ways of documentation is a good thing, but asking if there is a cognitive limit to all of this. So, again: How should I document this cat lying next to me?
Is she documented textually, in a tweet, or a Facebook status? Is it a photograph, and if so, with a nicer camera or with my smartphone? Instagram? Facebook? Or perhaps this is better a Snapchat, self-deleting and shared with one person? Or maybe a Lytro photograph that allows the viewer to change the focus after the fact, shifting the emphasis at will from her face to her tail? Or perhaps her tail-wagging is best captured in a soundless moving GIF using the popular GifBoom app? Or maybe make a Vine, the current “hot” app we may or may not be talking about a month from now that allows for short, quick-cut, looping videos. Many of these apps will come and go, but what is important is that photographs, video, text, and audio are being recombined in different ways for different audiences, putting a heavy load on our documentary consciousness.*
za pomocą Documentary Oversaturation » Cyborgology.