Wait. Don’t move! I need to Instagram this! This food. This cat being cute. This trip to the pumpkin patch. This cup of coffee. This first time the child is biting into an apple after wearing braces for two years. This hard hit to right field. This keeper blocking the goal.
Have you ever caught yourself saying those things? It’s my virtual scrapbook after all…a way to express my creativity and document our family memories. I LOVE Instagram. I have so many photography and photo editing apps on my phone it’s not even funny. Clearly I have a slight addiction.
It used to be if I wanted a picture of my child I had to go find the camera and make sure it had batteries and room on the memory card, or *GASP!* film in the camera. Because I’m old. Now I whip my phone out of my pocket every time something cute happens because “it might be the last time…” It might be the last time my child slides down a slide or grins at me with that braceface grin.
Yep. It was…and I’m glad to have those photos. But not all of them went to Instagram. Some were printed. Some were saved on the cloud for blackmail material. Just in case. I might be a cool mom, but I need to keep a few cards close to the chest.
I’m so thankful to be able to take quality photos to capture memories of the little every day things by simply whipping out my phone. There are quite a few years of my children’s lives that there are photos of birthdays, Halloween, Easter, Christmas and nothing else. The end. While I’m thankful to have the days documented and photos of unexpected moments and so many nostalgic first and lasts, it gives me pause.
Even though I might have only had my camera on hand just a few times throughout the year when my children were younger doesn’t mean that we don’t have tons of wonderful memories. We lived life well!
There were trips to the park or the playground, visits with grandparents, playdates, and outings of all kinds. There were family dinners, surprise lunches at school and sweet little crafts and cooking adventures. None of them were documented online for all of my social media friends to see, but that makes them no less real.
So am I saying hang up Instagram?! No!!! Never. Because truly…I love Instagram.It might be the last time my child slides down a slide or grins at me with that braceface grin.Click To Tweet
But I’m trying to make sure that my kids are getting a healthy perspective about how to use social media. Because this is new territory. I can’t follow my parents’ example as I educate my children on the ins and outs of the internets. We’re learning together.
I want my kids to understand that just like the tree falling in the forest absolutely will make a loud crash even if no one’s there to witness it, their 10,000 steps for the day happen whether they share it or not. And if they made the best chocolate chip cookies that were promptly devoured by their team they can be proud of their skills, even if there’s no photo to prove it.
Our children need to see that it is okay to create memories without needing the validation of our friends. And sometimes we just need to stand and enjoy the moment and be fully present in it, rather than becoming preoccupied while we try capture the perfect Instaworthy photo. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but sometimes the story lives best in the telling and retelling to our family and friends.