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By: Peyton Benge

Picture a world without pictures. Maybe I shouldn't say,"picture a world" but instead I should say,"imagine a world." Regardless of my use of words, the proposition is still on the table. Imagine a world with no pictures or images. 

Ironically an image might come to your mind. As a writer, the image in my head immediately appears as a utopia. A world without pictures means a world where descriptions are painted by words, not by hands. Moments are only captured by speech, and never by a camera. A world where the writer, poet and musician rule the arts.

But why picture a world without pictures? Are there not beautiful pictures? What is utopian about a picture-less world?

I guess these questions should be considered. It is true. A world without pictures would be a very dull place. Paintings have been around since men were first able to pick up stones and mark impressions on to cave walls. Images and films are used to describe the mind and soul's innermost thoughts and emotions. Pictures are 1,000 words an artist might have not been able to express by mouth or paper. Murals cover our walls with men and women we admire. Pictures deliver a message for the speechless. Photographs mix passion and persuasion. Poster images drive us patriotically to unite under one cause. Pictures are powerful.

These are all valid statements, especially those last 3 words: Pictures are powerful. It's these three words that made me pose my initial request.


Pictures have always been powerful, but how much does the power extend into our lives and wrap its grasp around us? Stories are being told less with words and more with photographs. Moments used to be captured in memories, now they are captured on an eternal web and demand a witty caption. We used to do things because we wanted to do them, not because of the positive feedback and high-exposure it could receive.

A picture-less world is a beautiful place for the less physically endowed. Beauty is in high-demand and mediocrity is in high exposure. People and their lives are being ranked through likes on how pleasing they are to the eye instead of by the content that lies within the frame. Only one side of the story, the successful and happy side, is being displayed through online albums and profile pictures. We relate more to what image people depict themselves as on their social media  accounts, than through their actions and feelings in real life. 

Don't get me wrong, pictures are important, but I believe we are becoming our lifeless images instead of occasionally capturing them to reflect over our fulfilled lives.

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