To me personally, while I value the documentary aspects of photography, I know that truly that's not the reason I'm attracted to photography. After all, there are many other ways of documentation that I'm not interested in, such as video recording.
No, for me, photography is entirely about artistic creation, and constantly bettering myself both in art itself and in technical mastery of the tools. To be honest, there probably is some gadget obsession mixed in. But the real fire driving all of my interest is simply that I enjoy the act of going out and doing stuff, getting the photos, reviewing and editing them once home, and then presenting them. It is a process which brings me Zen. My main audience for my photography is myself -- photos I make on hire I rarely treasure as much -- and I only strive to be better now than I was before.
Further, my own understanding of photography helps me appreciate the ubiquitous photography that surrounds us in modern society. From reviewing the archival photography that the Library of Congress hosts online, to watching movies in theaters, to the ambient photography ceaselessly performed by security and surveillance systems, I feel my understanding of them all deepen along with my interest in my own photography.