Friday, January 26, 2007

A cure for fear of heights...?

While I was taking this picture over a bridge that I like to visit, I noticed that my usual fear of heights was greatly diminished now that I was "behind" a camera. Normally, my phobia about heights makes me rather nervous when I linger over this bridge; I love the view, and the calm (I never see a soul there), but it's still gut-check time to cross it.
Yet on this occasion, leaning over to take the picture provoked not the slightest effect in me; somehow, the fact that I had a camera between me and the source of anxiety, suddenly cancelled out my lifelong phobia.
Reflecting on this surprise on my long way home, it made me wonder about journalists behind their cameras, and how easy it must be to feel detached and unconnected to the subject matter that falls before their lens. I think as bloggers, we court the same risks sometimes, with the distancing effect that this technological medium has to offer us as we face the emotional issues of our times.

The shield offered by distance can give us the courage to face fears that we might normally continue to cower from, yet it may also provide incentive to put up an apathetic wall between us and the world that we would otherwise connect to, particularly the people that we would otherwise find common cause with.

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