the social value of the slideshow

46fb85a362233890c6f8c69c7f50d9c5lately i’ve been thinking about slideshow parties a lot. when i was a kid, my dad had a whole bunch of slides like the ones in the pic, and i found them fascinating. they were just tiny translucent versions of regular photographs my dad had taken but they were in hard little frames, and you had to put them in a slide projector to show them to people. it seemed like a really cumbersome system to me but i liked it a lot anyway. i don’t think my dad ever showed his slides to anyone, at least not that i can remember, but i looked through them sometimes, holding them up to the light and squinting to make out the tiny image.

i think that the idea behind slides was to have a bunch of people over and show them pics from your latest vacation or whatever, have a little slideshow party with your friends. just like how people used to show their 8mm film on projectors in the 50’s or 60’s, like a scene from the wonder years.


in that sense, i still think slideshow parties are a swell group activity. when i think about friends going on vacations, i want them to invite the gang over for a slideshow of their pics once they get home. i wouldn’t even mind the fact we would all be using computers and digital photos. there’s just something about getting together with friends and showing photos and chatting about our adventures that i think is really warm and old-fashioned.

i know with most people posting their shit on facebook and instagram now, it might seem pointless and inconvenient to bother with slideshow parties but i think the social aspect is invaluable, especially as we get older and find it harder to meet up with friends. i want to keep finding reasons to get together, hang out, and spend quality time with pals.

ben, i’m looking at you right now.


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