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40 percent of moms avoid family photos because they don't like the way they look, survey says

Technically Incorrect: Many moms who use their cell phones to take family photos say they don't like being in them. Some said they need alcohol to allow themselves to be in them.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Many moms say they prefer to be behind the camera.


It's so easy to take photos these days.

In fact, if you're not taking photos at least every 30 minutes, you're not a modern person and your Facebook friends will be mortified.

When it comes to taking family photos, it's often moms who take on the responsibility. How often, though, do moms actually let themselves appear in those photos?

I only ask because of an utterly mortifying survey that has descended on my being. The surveyors talked to 252 moms who had kids under 18 and wondered about the family photos they take on their phones.

The results, if they are to be believed, are shiver-making.

The survey found that even though moms take the vast majority of family photos on their phones, 40 percent of them said they make sure they're not in the photos because they don't like the way they look. Please pause on this micro-commentary on the state of our culture while I tell you that 14 percent said they'd feel more comfortable being in these photos, if only they could have some alcohol first.

I'll resist interpretation. Instead here are some more results.

Sixty-two percent of moms said the worst thing about losing their smartphones would be losing their family photos. (Perhaps they're in the cloud, though.) Forty percent of moms said they never like the way they look in family photos. And 25 percent said they'd rather have nude photos leaked than lose all their family photos.

The tension exposed by this survey is the one between physical appearance and creating long-lasting memories. When asked if they'd prefer to lose all their family photos or gain 25 pounds, 25 percent of these moms said they'd rather forego the extra weight.

Naturally, whenever one considers such surveys one has to consider the sponsors.

In this case, it's RealNetworks -- that's right, the company once best-known for its RealPlayer audio and video software. You'll be frozen in one place when you learn that this company has a product called RealTimes. This claims to "bring your memories to life by automatically and instantly creating video montages from your photo and video collection on your smartphones."

But what sort of montages might these be if many moms choose not to be in the pictures? This survey, conducted by Harris Poll between August 4 and August 6, declared that 66 percent of moms take 75 percent or more of their family photos on their phones.

Which, if this was at all statistically representative (the sampling error couldn't be calculated with this work), would suggest that a considerable proportion of family photos don't actually have mom in them at all.

One question that might beg asking is: Do the rest of the family encourage moms to be in their photos? Or do they accept mom's absence as the norm? Do they care? Or are family photos often something of a chore?

Another might be: Do the results of this survey accurately reflect the reality of families in the modern age? Or is this a fanciful sadness encouraged by a company that wants to encourage photo-taking?

I will leave these questions entirely to you.