"If there wasn't a picture, did it even happen?" The mocked caption we all seem to scroll across on social media. But this comment/caption is actually more despairing than comical. Have you tried it? Leaving your cell phone at home. Departing from your cellular device, to go do something cool or totally 'instagram worthy'?
Okay, a bit of a fib... well, depends on how you look at it. Long story short - I was going to my grandma's house. My phone was on 5% and I didn't feel like waiting for it to charge, and that's when the daring thought came across my mind - "Leave it Shakkira. You're just going to your grandmothers." So that is exactly what I did.
At any rate, I Iike to think that I'm a pretty laid back all inclusive lady. A lady who isn't addicted to social media, can go a while without checking what people are tweeting about, and can enjoy new things for myself as opposed to obsessiving over getting the perfect angle for a picture or that envy-worthy video.
Whilst on my drive through the country roads, these thoughts of myself began to waiver. I listened to one of my old, and favorite, Paramore CD's, "Riot!" from highscool (seen as the aux cord was clearly not going to be in use). Thinking about how cool it would've been to make a snapchat video of myself jamming to "That's What You Get." I marveled at the sunset meeting the glistening snow in the horizon. Wishing I had my iPhone to snap a pic of the beauty.
Get to my Gram's house and her boxer dogs are running rampant to give me kisses. My Gram lives in the dead of the country in Northern Indiana, her back yard is laid upon acrew of land. Woods encompass most of it. Trees perfectly align a path toward the back terrace. With the snow sticking to every inch of wood, snow growing up to at least four inches, as well as the gleaming sunset - the view was as gorgeous as ever.
Then my gram and I went through all of her old clothes. I'm talking clothes from the 70s and 80s. Some I am proud to say are now on their way to my closet back in Indianapolis. We looked at old pictures that she has now decorated her living room wall with, and made great conversation while enjoying a cup of tea.
A memory I would've loved to capture. Been able to look back on. Pictures I would've loved to snap as I'm trying on dress shirts with shoulder pads in them. Videos I would've loved to take as the dogs jumped all over me. Which made me start thinking deeper into the matter.
My very first instinct for every inconsequential, and seemingly minor, thing was to grab my phone. To snap a pic, take a video, to think of a catchy caption for a couple of the old pictures I found. When my first instict while playing dress up, sharing tea with my gram and looking at the sunset in the back terrace, should've been to just simply bask in the moment.
"Live in the moment" is a pretty popular motto these days. Many of us see pictures of people "living in the moment." But how much of these moment are we truly living, with our eyes glued to our phone screens, recording a video for our followers enjoyment - not our own.
Hypocrisy is something I loathe. Especially since I'm a saggitarius. I'm pretty sure it kills those of us who share the same astrology sign. So I can not sit here and act like I don't do this very thing. As mentioned above, I literally thought of my social media applications every time a post-worthy moment approached.
I love to take pictures as the next. Appealing visuals are what I live for. Not just of new things, but relative aspects of my everyday life. Finding beauty in my day-to-day is important for my well being. Yet, in realizing the hindrance this has actually come to be on the "living" aspect of my life, I am happy to start stepping back.
I don't really have much of a proposition as to what you can do to make it better. If you don't think you have a little bit of dependance to your phone and social media feeds, try it. And if you think you do, still try it. Really, my only recomendation is to actually do it. Leave your phone at home when you're going to do something.
Try it when you're doing something that you typically like doing. For me, I enjoy discovering new coffee shops. I recently tried forcing myself to leave my phone at my apartment as I traveled to a new coffee spot. It hurt to not take an appeasing picture of my latte next to my current read and post it to my story, let me tell ya.
All in all, "If there wasn't a picture, did it even happen" isn't comical anymore. When you really put yourself in a situation to actually live in the moment, that is the true refreshing moment. Not living for your social media feed is something I think a lot of us millennials are going to have to work on. At least for our better being.
Here's to taking one less photo.