Is food really connecting us?
If it seems food is everywhere you click, that’s because it is. According to this info-graphic (you know we love those) from the ever-awesome Column Five and Flowtown, nearly half (40%) of “consumers learn about food via websites, apps, or blogs." That’s our favorite statistic, go figure.
Food blogger though I am, I’ve actually got conflicting feelings about the food/digital connection- all of which are represented in this here info-graphic. Food is life, literally and figuratively, online and off. It represents one of the greatest potentials of our digital world: to connect us to one another in ways that would have never been possible before. How awesome is it that we seek out new experiences and listen to the opinions of others? How great is it that someone actually reads this blog and can maybe get something worthwhile out of it? It’s not passive, either, as “24% say they respond to conversations on social media sites." I know one of my favorite things about Twitter is being able to chat with or ask questions of people I would likely never meet in real life (like journalists or other writers and chefs, personalities, awesome “regular" people…). In some respects taking a picture of our food is not just a aesthetic fetish but an act of honoring a daily ritual or the work that went in to getting that food to our plate. This is all good.
The bad, though, comes along for the ride. While food is connecting us to one another online it may, at the very same time, be pulling us away from experiences right in front of us. If you are Instagramming or Foodspotting while eating, whether at home (like 29% of us) or out (like 19% of us), are you really honoring that connection to others, yourself, or the food you are eating? As I hinted at in a recent post, On Not Taking Pictures, it is a great irony that the very thing that connects us to the unknown can be distancing us from the intimate.
Thoughts? Share in the comments or via Twitter: @HeartNStomach. We also like to talk in “real life" :)