A few weeks after my son was born my mom brought this huge box of photo albums full of pictures of my childhood. There was an album for each year, although for the first year there were two. Obviously, the newborn phase where you can´t stop taking pictures of this new bundle of joy that entered your life, right? So towards the end of my maternity leave, I also started making Lucas´ first photo album, old school with printed photos and handwritten captures. After 4 months of life, I could already fill an entire album… There were so many pictures. SO. MANY.
And I guess that´s where the difference becomes quite clear, in the amount of pictures we take and the way we take pictures. My parents had to take my pictures with a camera (and not a digital one) where you took a few shots hoping that once you would print them off there would be a good one. I can take all the shots in the world with my phone and I can basically keep going until I have a good one. Also, since it has become so much easier to make good pictures, we obviously take much more of them. We don´t have additional costs for making more pictures so we can take as many as we like and since our offspring is obviously super cute and does photo-worthy things all day long we take a lot. Where before the camera was only taken out for special occasions (remember the “Kodak moment”?), now we just keep snapping.
And there are of course advantages to it, for example, living abroad it´s great to be able to share a lot of pictures of my son with my family and friends back home through Whatsapp so they can also follow his development despite the distance. Or that we know we have a great shot that we can give grandma on her birthday instead of hoping that the picture turned out well but we won´t know for sure until we have printed the film.
But the ridiculous amount of pictures we have (seriously, after that first 4month album I don´t even dare to start a second album, just the thought of having to go through all these pictures stresses me out!) also makes you wonder about the messages we might be indirectly giving to our children:
- What happened to just enjoying the moment in the moment instead of from behind our iPhones?
- “Selfie or it didn´t happen”, do we need to proof to other people via social media that we had a great day, had an awesome holiday or did something spectacular? Isn´t it enough that WE know we had a great day?
- Is only perfect good enough? Because let´s face it, we often keep snapping pictures until we have the right one (in our eyes).
- Is our phone just an extension of our bodies? We might be complaining about children´s screen time and that they get addicted to phones / tablets / television but obviously that´s for a reason. If they see their parents take out their phone every 5 minutes that does give them an example.
I love having great pics of my son, but honestly, what am I even going to do with the 100s of pictures on my phone?