Flirting with Instagram

I’ll never forget the day my friend signed me up to Facebook. It was 2007.  She assured me this would be fun and a way for us to stay connected when she left. Little did I know or did any of us what would happen. I think you know exactly what I mean. Fun isn’t so fun anymore. Being social has become a necessity, an addiction, something we love to hate. It’s taken our offline reality and made it an online spectacle. And if we decide to go on a social media break we feel somehow obliged to make an announcement first, just to make sure nobody thinks we’re AWOL or worse, dead.

Real Life Photography by Nora FREEBIE 7

I’m an introvert. No one would believe it but it’s true. As a kid I was happiest by myself holed up in a tree. I can remember thinking that if I could just live there forever I’d be happy. Growing up in a small city which was basically cold for most of the year and having very busy parents who traveled overseas for work, meant I had to learn to entertain myself. I liked making up stories, building complex forts out of sheets and reading books. I also enjoyed playing with my next door neighbors and school friends. But I wasn’t desperate to be social.

So am I being a bit dramatic? I can definitely see the benefits to being virtually connected to thousands of people. I love reconnecting with friends from childhood, feeling supported during a health crisis, being celebrated on my birthday and generally finding out about stuff outside the propaganda of mainstream media. And don’t get me wrong leveraging social media to back a project or vet an idea is awesome. But I am starting to see the fallout in my own life and in the lives of others.  And I catch myself thinking… If I don’t capture that moment and share it with my followers on Instagram or Facebook, will it still be meaningful?

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On our most recent holiday in the South of France (something I did share heavily across all social media platforms by the way) I’ve been experimenting with a new kind of Instagram. The one where I just take the picture in my head; the breathtaking view, the diving of swallows, the glide of an eagle, the splash of wild flowers, the way the buildings almost lean towards each other in a hillside village, the feeling of cold river water against skin. It’s working. I’m more relaxed and feeling inspired again.

The latest research suggests that when we photograph a moment we lose the moment from our memory. Imagine forgetting something just because you took a picture of it. Sounds insane right? But how many of us think, that would be an awesome shot for Instagram, let me take a picture, and then forget all about it.

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For me it’s like losing my footing. When I stop to capture the moment in memory it anchors me, reminds me of something true and real. A photo is one step removed. I’m composing a moment rather than letting it wash over me.  Would I rather manufacture something for someone else to virtually ‘like’ it or do I want it to be mine, forever.

Every experience is a touch stone, a reminder of the absolute totality that is infinite and boundless. We aren’t just experiencing reality; every living being is inseparably part of reality. Try and separate a leaf from creation. A leafs composition is made up of the elements that make up the whole universe. When you get your head around that it’s a total blow out.  I dare you to and capture just one moment happening in a millisecond of this vast reality. It’s impossible. There’s too much going on.

And get this ‘you are the moment’ no need to capture a thing.


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