Photos, video and social media at events are our newest form of applause

A photo of the crowd at an All American Rejects concert at Xfinity Live in September 2012.
A photo of the crowd at an All American Rejects concert at Xfinity Live in September 2012.

Creating media continues to become easier and more varied every day. Humans are the only species to develop the practice of recording history.

So whenever we are in a moment we regard as a distinguished experience — travel, first-time moments, extraordinary circumstances — we are bound to have this motivation to record that history as best we can.

This photo was spreading around the web comparing how people were experiencing the papal announcement in 2005 and then in 2013. H/T Paul Wright
This photo was spreading around the web comparing how people were experiencing the papal announcement in 2005 and then in 2013. H/T Paul Wright

That’s why those drunk girls are taking so many photos at that concert you’re attending. It doesn’t matter that it’s dark and their flash won’t help.

For as long as applause and cheering was about getting involved and being part of a moment grander than we are, sharing media — photos, video, social media messages — is the natural progression. Perhaps if we get better at sharing a collective narrative, more of us will feel comfortable just simply watching the fireworks, rather than taking a photo of each and every one of them.

That just might be what determines whether we’ll ever reach an apex in multimedia creation or if we have a lot more to come first.