I am in no way an expert at the social media game. To me, it is really too much at times.
Social media has consumed my life since I was about 16 years old. I didn’t always like social media because of the privacy and anonymity of life suddenly being frowned upon. Not joining the online party meant that you missed out on some really cool things so it was really important to get in on the know and not miss out. The Internet went from a place for academia and solitary fun to a sprawling landscape of attractions, i.e. became much more crazier and a place to be seen. The anniversary of the “Social Media boom” that happened around 2008 when all of these websites became essential components of the Internet is coming up. It was the web’s coming of age. It was my coming of age.
The world continues to shift from analog to digital, because everything is so much better that way. Pretty soon, analog will be a word that future kids will raise their eyebrows at. Analog clocks on walls have become increasingly rare with all of the digital devices around. Why look up at a clock now and figure out what the hands mean when you can look down at your phone or smartwatch and get the time (and weather) in an instant.
Polaroid cameras – I still remember them. Gran had one. They’re still around certain places and not at all embarrassing to still use because you’re considered a hipster then. The original “Instagram” Instamatic. The iconic square border and timely shot slowly coming into focus. The nostalgia is so apparent. That’s what digital photography doesn’t offer. The physical feeling in your hand. The shaking to get the picture to develop faster. Going from a dusty brown to crystal clear life. The Polaroid camera was invented by Edwin Land in 1943. It was the first instant camera. A bit clunky and cumbersome then but better than waiting a week for one picture to develop in a dark room.
The Polaroid company knew they had to venture into other realms and so new types of cameras came along, some without the classic instant picture film, some embracing social media and allowing you to directly upload your pictures to the Internet. Keeping tracks of our daily events is so much easier and organized now, but I do still love the classic photo album with the adhesive pages that make a distinct crackling sound.
The song “Hey Ya” by Outkast has a catchy section of “Shake it like a Polaroid picture” which became a short dance fad of 2003 and 2004.
The last time I used an analog camera, meaning one that had an actual roll of film in it, was about 5 years ago while on a vacation to Michigan City, Indiana. It was one of those one time use throw away cameras. That was the last time I went to one hour photo and had pictures developed and placed in a white envelope with the original film strip. Since then, it has become more and more easier to preserve my life with just a smartphone because everything I ever need is contained on there. One click shares these photos and videos with the appropriate social media outlets. Instagram is like the Polaroid picture of modern times. The window used for media even resembles a Polaroid instant picture. With the addition of likes and comments, your pictures have more meaning than when they were just lying around in a box or forgotten album.
Humans are natural born timekeepers. We love to keep track of events and remember things for future generations. It’s a natural part of our DNA. We are storytellers through and through. Our lives are meant to remembered by others so that they have meaning and value. The more open minded we are about sharing our life with others, down to every little detail and thing we experience, the more connected and less isolated we feel.What’s the point of keeping it all to yourself if no one will witness it when you eventually take a ride out of here?