A picture of young art lovers

Emily Jacobsson and Pauline Villegas

Recently, it’s become pretty common for teens to go to the trendiest modern art museums over the weekend. It’s so nice to see a younger generation realize that art is something to cherish and value, except they absolutely do not.

More often than not, the main motive for going to these places isn’t to observe and appreciate the art, but rather to take pictures to post online.  It is disheartening to see the pieces of art become little more than the aesthetic backgrounds. The reason for this is that most teenagers don’t care about art at all; they care about their Instagram feeds.

It’s unfair to say that this is something that only teenagers do—the truth of the matter is that most people in general don’t care about art. Art galleries and museums are filled with people looking down on their phones, taking pictures of the art rather than looking at it with their own eyes.  

If you walk into the LACMA, for example, you will see people taking pictures and using their phones, leaving 20 minutes later in search of the nearest Urth Caffe. Often times, visitors go specifically in search of an exhibit they’ve seen on social media so they can take a similar picture and leave. A prime example of this is the Urban Lights exhibit.

Instead of looking for beauty or inspiration, they are looking for their next profile picture. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a cool picture, the least one could do is take the appropriate amount of time to analyze the art before moving on.

In a way, every person is a little guilty of this. Even art fanatics have posted here and there about being at an art museum, but that doesn’t stop them from thoroughly enjoying the art. But, as with any type of unhealthy behavior, the first step is admitting to having a problem.

From then on, people can work on valuing art as more than an interesting addition to our social media feeds. This seems to be a reoccurring trend, much like how teens only go to “trendy” restaurants to tweet about it later.

At the end of the day, we should be going to art museums for a single reason: to enjoy the art. Next time you visit an art museum, leave the phone behind.

Make an effort to connect with the art and you will see how much more valuable your experience becomes.