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Innovation

How Technology Is Changing Prom Night-Forever

Newly posted to Flickr, this Night of the Prom photo was not taken by a professional photographer, but by a teenager with their brand new Samsung GX10.OK, let me scene set.
Written by Russell Shaw, Contributor on

Newly posted to Flickr, this Night of the Prom photo was not taken by a professional photographer, but by a teenager with their brand new Samsung GX10.

OK, let me scene set.

On Saturday night, the X-chromosomal unit and I had a stylish dinner at a trendy South Asian restaurant jammed with corsaged and tuxed prom goers. Packs, couples, you name it.

Me being an avid student of human behavior and their tech tools, I noticed the prevalence of camera phones.  Posed shots, group shots, funny goofy ones, group and grins, you name it.

And after some of these shots were taken, I noticed what appeared to be widespread texting of these images to what might be presumed to be friends and families of these attendees.

I recognize that none of which I've described will shock you. But then, there's some "makes you go hmm" fodder when you compare these uses of technology to what I observed on prom nights even just a few years ago.

For one, where are the for-hire prom night photographers? Just a few years ago, they used to flood places like the restaurant we were at. Both in the restaurant and among the groups of promenading and limo-emerging prom-ers on the street outside, I saw not one wedding photographer.

While you don't need to devote prime brain power to attribute this to the fact that everyone there had a digital camera, cell phone camera or both, there's a more profound technology causality loop.

Some of my observations:

  • Digital cameras and phone cameras are rapidly improving in quality to the point that what they shoot will be usable enough online.
  • There's less of a need for high-res prom photo prints. Why? Because of the rise of social networks.  I guess photos such as those taken on prom night are distributed more via social networks than the old fashioned glossy media. That could mean that prom-goer-DIY photos are less fussy about needing the type of screen resolution that phonecams are still not capable of.
  • Texting along with photos allow a comfort level of instant "we are here on prom night and having such a cool time that phone calling does not. I mean, what if the people you are calling on prom night are at their own prom?
  • Because of these reasons, professional photographers have to be less in demand on prom night than other occasions such as oh, weddings.

The biggest takeaway from my prom night example applies to technology and society.

More powerful devices (cell with camera, digital cams, even digital video cams) are enabling consumers to take technology tasks they once had to hire professionals to do, and performing these tasks themselves.

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