What a good book to describe the time we live and the affects of social media on life and on how life is viewed. I find it very fascinating how Sarah Pink connects the way visual ethnography is so interconnect with anthropology. I like how she shows how the Internet and social media have become apart of the “hypermedia” phenomenon. I would not know what to do without my cell phone or computer. It has become not only the way we see things and view things, but it is the new medium for communication and visual ethnography for the 21st Century. I can’t wait to get into her book sensory ethnography.
In the book one of the concepts that stood out to me was how some of the critiques of visual ethnography point to the fact that media can be compromised and not really produce a true picture of anthropology because it is altered. In other words people have the opportunity to show you what they want to show you and how they want to show it to you. This is really true on face book and other media sites (Instagram i.e.). People are taking the pictures of themselves the way they would like you to perceive them and that is not always an honest picture. I can see how this is criticized when we depend on media to give us a clear picture of something relating to our life or our society. But I liked how Sarah Pink put it, “the ethnographer has to play a dual role in how something is seen and in how something is understood.  Our ideas come into play whenever we show a picture but we have to be aware as well of how people view it. I believe it is crucially important to not think that every thing visual that the media produces is accurately giving a true description of how things are. And I don’t think we have to get so caught up in the idea that everything has to be exactly true the way it’s shown all the time. Part of our nature is to want to paint a good picture and to see a good picture painted.
With social media being a medium that people can alter what they show you I think we have to be a little open minded about are visual perception of what we see in the media or even what we see written. Most things we see don’t come with disclaimers or anything that would even give us the remotest validation that what we see is actually true. But at least we do get the opportunity to get to see what people want to see and what they want to show you. Out of what I read I was really fixed on this idea because it’s easy to not question what you see. With this in mind I think visual perception of things has not changed much it has just been enhanced by social media. I think it helps us to form ideas and concepts but just like anything else a wise person would check the authenticity of anything. This is not say that what we are looking at is not helpful in ideas but it is just a bigger challenge now to make sure what we see is true!