Sunday, July 13, 2014

Haters gonna hate.

I've spent so much money on disposable cameras. I have more photo albums than I know what to do with, sprinkled about the house. I have stacks of boxes filled with photograph memorabilia. I have the negatives filed away by date, along with the doubles from years worth of 4x6 prints. I always spent the extra $1 and made double prints. I did this so that I could share the photos. That's right, I SHARED the photos I obsessively, compulsively took with my disposable cameras with my friends and family, and anyone who I thought might enjoy the candid shot I caught of them. I shared photos long before Facebook. I was obsessed to the point of severe anxiety about capturing memorable moments long before smart phones.

I got a fancy, manual camera for Christmas my Freshman year of college. I took a photography class. I shoved a camera in Matt's hands constantly, insisting he take the picture (since he always seemed to get the better shot.) When I got a free moment, I would go through these picture and work on a scrapbook. Here, I could paste ticket stubs and write words to go with these times in my life that I never, ever wanted to forget. I have an entire, antique dresser from my childhood filled with different stickers, cardstock, glue, pens, paints, various newspaper clippings, old greeting cards, and other essential components to a great scrapbook. Matt would love for me to get rid of these things. Not going to happen. I still, fully intend to complete these books, someday. This desk, though...nothing has been added. At least, not in the last 6 years. I have not had to purchase a disposable camera, since college, really. I no longer scrapbook. Yet, I have managed to capture every image, thought, funny moment, and valuable memory in the past few years better than ever before. How?
Digital cameras, laptops, cell phones, smart phones, and most specifically, the iPhone. These wonderful devices have changed my life. For the better. I no longer attend a wedding, worrying how I will carry my camera around, winding up the flash, hoping the shot turns out as intended. I don't spend time driving to the pharmacy dropping off and then back to pick up my prints. Then organizing them, mailing them to people, cataloging them. I truly believe I have regained years of life just from the sheer amount of stress and time reduction that smart phones have provided me.

I hear and read constant shaming of people for time spent on their phones, Facebook, Instagram, all social media. Making statements, like, "be present". As if, there is no way to be present or enjoy the little things in life if you are photographing and sharing them. If this is the case, then I have never been present, or able to experience "the moment". Which, is partly true, when I think about my state of mind back when technology and the digital age was not so prevalent...I was anxious. Stressed. Constantly, thinking about how I was going to take a picture, remember this party, revisit that concert.

I have never been more connected to my friends and family. I have never kept a more up-to-date scrapbook than this very blog. I have never retained more vivid memories, than in the past 5 years. It makes me happy. It makes me love, and value, and enjoy even the simplest walks, meals, moments. Capturing an image of a cute facial expression, awesome outfit, perfect day was not possible before...unless you hauled your clunky camera with you everywhere. I truly feel that I appreciate life, and everything it has to offer, even more now that I am constantly connected to the world.

This technological age is something I hoped for and dreamed of as a youngster. It suits me. My children and family know that I will take photos. My boys understand to just let it happen, then go on their merry way. My siblings make fun of me, constantly. Yet, if I come unarmed with a camera, they are disappointed. They appreciate my neurosis, as they too, now have memories captured that would have slipped away from consciousness so easily. Only to be rehashed if, by some chance, a thought, image, word, moment, smell, triggered that old memory and brought it back to mind.

Perhaps, for some, these devices are a distraction from, instead of an enhancement to life. I'm also, not trying to imply that I have never been posting an Instagram photo, while my children were in the pool or at the park playing. Sure, I ignore them for a moment. But, before phones, did every mother watch, care for, provide for their every child's need at every moment? They never chatted with friends while park or poolside? Read a book? Watched a Soap? Did a crossword? Flipped through a magazine? I don't use my phone during meals. I try not to use it while socializing with friends, but will when everyone else takes a moment for "phone time". Ok, sometimes I kickstart "phone time" but others follow!
All I am trying to say, is that I love my iPhone. I love Instagram. I love Facebook. I love blogging. I love texting; especially, fun, hilarious group texts with close friends. I love flipping through the many images I've captured of the life that I love, at any given moment. While on call one night, a fellow doctor walked behind me and saw what I was flipping through on Instagram, and exclaimed, "Are you looking at your own pictures!?" Umm, duh! Of course I am. There are no pictures I'd rather see than my own pictures of everything I love in life. I am going to continue to photograph, quote, write about, and post the many phenomenal, hilarious, sad, ironic, mundane, beautiful moments in my life. This life I only get to live once. You may think I am totes magotes cray cray. That I am neglecting someone, or something. That I am missing out on life because my nose is plastered in my phone. I think I am making the most of every minute, and enjoying life to its very tip-top fullest.

1 comment:

Blair Johnson said...

Go on with your bad self, girl. I feel bad; I'm behind on reading your posts.