The intense blues and greens of the South Pacific are truly incredible. Mix into this idyllic vision the reds, oranges, and pinks of beautiful hibiscus flowers, a never ending variety of palm trees stretching towards an expanse of sky that extends beyond imagination, exotically intricate tattoos on caramel brown skin, the impressive jagged peaks of volcanic mountains formed ages ago, powerful yellow and orange sunsets reflecting light off both the unreal blue seas and low hanging whitish-grey clouds, and coral reefs filled with exotically colorful fish that look like children’s book cartoon illustrations. These are snapshot images that I can capture using a standard or digital camera, smart telephone, underwater camera, or even an iPad or Kindle.
Never before has it been so easy to capture these images and immediately share them, around the world, through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any number of evolving photo-sharing websites. Not only a phenomena of younger generations, older populations, who have the means to finance the currently high prices of internet connectivity in remote parts of the world, are sharing their experiences with friends and family half way around the world. Grandmothers are using platforms such as Skype and Facetime to talk face-to-face with their beloved grandchildren, scanning the horizon with their thin, flat, technologically-advanced devices that share images in real time. When I first visited the South Pacific seas, this ability still seemed a futuristic idea and photographs and videos were something that one would share, weeks later, after returning home. Does this ability to immediately share, through the sense of sight, mean my ability to truly get away from it all is disappearing?