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New Year’s Resolutions in our collection

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According to a couple of polls I read about here and here, our New Year’s resolutions have very much reached the digital age. But can ‘buy a tablet’, ‘connect my computer to my TV’ and ‘learn how to use twitter’ really be considered resolutions, and are they anywhere near as important as spending more time with friends and family, taking better care of ourselves, helping others, and getting out of debt?

I thought resolutions were supposed to be a commitment to lifestyle change and personal goals, all in the name of new beginnings. Don’t get me wrong – I love technology, but ‘doing more social networking’ is hardly going to enrich your life. Or perhaps it is. We’ve reached a point in the digital age where we either need to get into modern technology, or get left behind. Just watch this video in which internet technologist, strategist, and journalist Ben Hammersley talks about how to face the digital future without fear.

Our virtuous intentions to better our natures and improve the lives of others have been appended by our desire to “improve” our physical appearance (‘get a new haircut’, ‘get a six-pack’, ‘totally revamp my wardrobe’), and, well, acquire more stuff.

For some of you, the opposite will be true. The most popular New Year’s resolutions lists are full of plans to ‘contact people in real life instead of texting them’, ‘do work for charity’, ‘socialise more in real life instead of on Facebook’, to ‘watch less reality TV’; and instead to ‘read more’, ‘go travelling’, ‘spend more time with the kids’ and to ‘get out of work on time’.

It seems there’s hope for us yet.

I’ve put together a set of photographs from the National Photography Collection to illustrate this year’s most popular New Year’s resolutions. Here are just a few – you can see the rest on Pinterest.

Written by Emma Thom

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