Stop taking pictures, seriously

You’ll note that there’s no pretty picture today, in honor of the subject of this post. 

No one wants to see blurry pictures of a concert or even crappy live footage of a person’s voice, clearly drowned out by a crowd that has screamed itself hoarse.

Additionally, stop instagramming pictures of that bagel with schmear that you ordered from Panera, because they all look the same. And if you follow the #bagel through the depths of the internet, you will find thousands of pictures identical to yours.

In my lifetime, I’ve found too many instances where I’ve corrupted the value of an experience by taking meaningless pictures, trying to falsely document that which ought not to be documented. The fabrication of such an experience gives it less meaning in the future, when you look to the shoddy picture or video. It takes the place of what could be a truly valuable event. And I have a counterproposal.

I think people mainly feel obligated to take pictures because they don’t want to forget a special event. But is picture taking the best method for remembering? Why not write it down, taking the time to chronicle seemingly insignificant details? I do it everyday. I take a memory, and write the shit out of it. I’ll write and rewrite an obscene amount of times, each time adding new nuances and details that end up being essential to recreating the experience.

The act of re-reading is far superior at reconstructing a memory in your mind than flipping back through pictures. If written well and documented properly, it essentially takes the effect of reading a book, which, in most instances, when compared to watching a shabbily made movie, is much better.

Picture-taking might not be appropriate for most occasions, but can have value. Documentation, broadcasting, publishing of an event shows other people what they are missing. Pictures…are they meant to be shared with others? Cherished individually? Do they hold a secret, an inside joke? Obviously, it depends on the context in which the picture is taken.

At the end of the day, I understand that we are young people; we’ve got places to go and things to do, and we don’t always have the time to sit down and write out a memory. My fix to this is just reliving the memory in my head. I know it sounds weird, but late at night, when I’m looking to fall asleep, everyone finds their brains racing. We can voluntarily slow our minds down though. I do that, then focus my attention on one memory, and try to recall all of the details. Typically, the daydream is somewhat hazy, but oftentimes it gets incorporated into my earliest dreams and sets a pleasant scene. I do this virtually every night.

So here are some of my snapshot posts, that illustrate a picture in words:

Welcome to the Squad Room

Welcome to my Closet

How to Take A Successful Bubble Bath

(inspired by the Weekly Writing Challenge)

Penultimately, an early birthday shoutout to my friend Leon! Happy 18th!

Finally, Beach House to slow down your Wednesday:


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  3. Pingback: DP Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots – Spring Morning | Bastet and Sekhmet's Library
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