I have 4,491* pictures on my iPhone. When friends say, “Hey, remember that time sophomore year when…” I take out my phone and start scrolling, scrolling, scrolling… Until I give up because I have 4,491 pictures on my iPhone. I take a lot of pictures.
I enjoy having pictures to look back at and remember. As graduation gets closer, nostalgic me is glad that my past four years are so well-documented.
Of course I sometimes wonder whether I’m doing myself a disservice by not just enjoying the moment, especially when I’m in the midst of something that I really want to remember – like my time in Belgrade this past summer.
I spent two weeks soaking up the city and the people and taking very few pictures (at least in my book). The pictures that I did take weren’t necessarily beautiful or Insta worthy, but were realistic representations of my time there.
I’m thankful that I have these to jog my memory, and to show to others who want to know about Belgrade. (And to take note of the apparent cat theme that I missed until now…)
Then I went into tourist mode. I spent my last morning in the city taking pictures just for fun.
For me, this was a perfect balance. I experienced Belgrade and snapped a few pics for the sake of memories and stories along the way. Then I devoted time to taking photos, itself an experience that I enjoy.
The fact that I wrestled with finding a balance to begin with reveals that I really value making memories (obviously) but also really value taking my own pictures. I bet a lot of Americans would say the same. We come together on Instagram, the fastest growing social network among U.S. adults, every single week on #tbt to celebrate these things. I love Instagram, and I would have a hard time deleting Facebook, my photo album of high school and early college.
Technology is constantly changing, but that doesn’t mean that the things that humans treasure are changing alongside of it. We should be thinking of new ways to draw on some of those constants, like creating art and nostalgia, to grow future online communities.
*Correction: 4,495 photos by the time that I finished writing this blog