Sunday, July 13, 2014
Haters gonna hate.
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?
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!