My daughter and her best friend can often be seen taking odd pictures of each other, giggling uncontrollably, and then patiently waiting by their phones. After asking what was so funny, they shared with me the glory and absurd fun of SnapChat. How you can the pictures, write messages on the pictures, and then send them to a friend for just a few seconds before they disappeared forever. They insisted that I HAD to get it. That we could send each other picture messages throughout the day. That it would be so much fun.
So, I downloaded it. Hey! My daughter thought I was cool enough to share this fun and exciting experience with, and I wasn’t going to say no. I wanted to be included in the fun. I wanted to be hip, fun loving, and cool. And I am here to tell you something!
…I don’t get it.
I think I have a different relationship with pictures than my daughter does. Photos are disposable and ephemeral in her world. Pictures and selfies and digital media are all seen as cheap and fleeting to the youth of today. To me, pictures are moments. It used to take days and hours to get photos developed. They were precious, even BAD photos were kept, because that moment was forever gone. You cherished photos, because they took a great deal of time and money to obtain.
Every picture I received was something I inherently wanted to keep. The notion of just throwing these moments off into the ether has been far too stressful to me. The screen time that is being dedicated to these moments that are just going to be thrown away seems so…pointless to me.
I see the pictures of my daughter and I want to keep them forever. I don’t want to just throw these moments away. Though, to be fair, if it weren’t for these SnapChats, I wouldn’t be seeing her at all for some hours. It is another way for her to tell me she’s thinking of me.
I guess she and I just look at pictures differently. But, is that a technological thing? Or a youth thing? Because to her, the world is going to go on forever. She is young and beautiful and in her world, indestructible. Me? I know how quickly it all changes, and I face a world where I want to hold onto the youth and beauty that is fading every day. I want to hold onto and cherish hers.
…maybe I’m not as cool as I thought. SnapChat and all.