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Is the snapshot dead?

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Seattle-based businessman Robert E. Jackson collects vintage snapshots like the one seen here. In an interview with NPR, Jackson says that with social media, modern digital snapshots are used to "advertise your life."

For Seattle-based businessman Robert E. Jackson, snapshots as we once knew them are gone.

In a recent interview with National Public Radio, Jackson explained his love of the old-fashioned snapshot. After collecting thousands of vintage prints over the years, Jackson has shown his collection in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and most recently the Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York City. 

"The snapshot used to be about the 'we' of America," Jackson said. "Now the snapshot is about the 'me.'"

Due to the advent of social media and the prevalence of digital photography, including the flood of images we're creating and sharing with the now ubiquitous smartphone, Jackson argues that snapshots of today tend to be more about self promotion than the preservation of a precious moment.

"This is me and my food. This is me sitting at the bar — and it all is sort of creating an identity about who I am and that's what you want to transfer to Facebook," said Jackson.

The interview is a thought-provoking look at how modern technology is reshaping the way we document our lives. 

We've migrated from an era reflected in Jackson's collection, when photography required more of an effort, from the cost of film and printing, to the deliberate process of preservation via a photo album or shoebox.

Now, it seems the ease affordability of smartphone photography and has created a culture of the overshare. Every moment that is slightly brag-worthy is posted on social media for all the world to see. 

What do you think: Has the snapshot died or has it just evolved?

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Total comments: 70
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