Us, Millennials easily receive the most flack over our digital media consumption; You know, our desires in taking selfies, posting pictures of our food on Instagram, and snapping aspects of our day-to-day…just to name a few. But I say, there’s nothing wrong in doing so!
Ever since I can remember, I have always been in love (or to some, obsessed) with both being the photographer AND subject of a photo. At the end of every school year, I would find myself piecing together scrapbooks, making space for even more photos in my giant albums and handing out those ridiculous classic mall glamour shots.
I truly enjoyed looking through my albums from time and time and recounting all of my childhood shenanigans.
Once I discovered Photobucket, I was livingg. A digital photo album? Yaaas.
But it obviously didn’t stop there. When Myspace came about, I was shoooook. You know the standard duck lips and peace sign, angled selfies? Well, those were kind of my thing. Updating my profile with photos of my summer, after school activities, etc. was literally a pastime.
But wait! Come social media and iPhones….O M G!!!
Finally, there was a forum for photo taking lovers to share and connect with others. With the explosion of social media, there is of course the critique/truth that it has the ability to disconnect us from the real world. But in moderation, I think capturing the moments we experience, is quite incredible! Like yeah, sure, memories do last a life time but sometimes yo’ girls memory is not that good.
To this day, I find myself constantly looking through my feed/photo library. I get super nostalgic, looking back at the different phases of my past, the changing trends, friends, and life events. And more often than not, I think, “OMG, I totally forgot about that!” Like you know, those crazy nights, sleepovers, travel adventures- that you reallly can’t remember (b/c of the bubbly) or even try to forget (again, b/c the bubbly).
Like guys! I truly truly believe in the power of a photograph. Photos do much more than document. They have the ability to heal, capture raw emotion, and transcend us into unseen worlds.
Speaking of healing, photos really helped my family cope during the passing of my dad. Obviously, his generation did not grow up on smart phones or social media, so finding photos of him throughout his life was tough. My dad was in his mid-forties when I was born, so I had hardly seen photos of him prior to that. Luckily, his aunts and siblings dug up a handful of Polaroids they kept in albums over the years.
We pieced together all of his photos and created a video montage for his funeral. As heartbreaking as it was to watch it all come together… it was equally as cathartic and beautiful. We all got a glimpse into his sense of style, (which included: wacky 70’s & 80’s outfits – and lets not forget- those infamous 90’s dad jeans), his groups of friends throughout the years, his hobbies, and of course his everlasting smile!
I’m also equally as grateful of social media for allowing me to document some of the final memories between my dad and I. We would play around with the different Snapchat filters and laugh over the ridiculous ones. Whenever I would ask him to take a picture with me, he would always preface with, “Now, Jas, I’m only taking a couple, alright?!” And that statement made me laugh every time because even with his illness, he still remembered how annoying I could be with pictures.
Every now and again, when I feel down, I look through our photos and they instantly bring a smile to my face. And… I’d like to think that is the beauty of pictures… they literally bring memories to life.
I know of a lot of people who hate having their picture taken or who are opposed to posting much of their personal life. But in 20 years, their kids may be interested in who they were as youths and not to mention memory worsens over time. Photos provide that instant recollection of some of the best moments of our life. I say, SNAP AWAY, PEOPLE!