I found pictures from the prom (he was my date), from our senior class trip, and that was about it. There's more in our yearbook, but in going through all of the photos I realized how much how we take pictures has changed with the advent of the smartphone.
The box is filled with pictures with fingers, fuzzy pictures, over- or under-exposed shots...there's a lot of crap photos in there, because you didn't see them until they were developed. You could totally prank someone with this delayed gratification aspect of film development (the Mister Rogers movie includes a great story of such a prank). Most of the pictures are also of events, of trips or milestones or visits. There were a couple exceptions, pictures of my dorm rooms in college and pictures of my best friend's first apartment, but otherwise the photos all chronicled something concrete, like a graduation, or a trip to the shore.
It's so different now.
Now we are able to chronicle everyday aspects of our lives, because there IS NO LIMIT to the pictures we can take and distribute digitally. I don't have any pictures with fingers in them, or fuzzy pictures, or accidental foot-or-lap pictures that survive, because when I see them on my Google Photos app, I delete them. And usually I see them right after I've taken them, so I get to have a do-over. And that's lovely but also kind of depressing, that we can so carefully curate our paparazzi'd lives with this technology. Don't like the chins? Take another picture and delete that hideous beast. I guess the only exception to this is other people's pictures of you -- the ones that you're tagged in and would never have made your camera roll on your own phone but show up awkwardly on social media.
Initially it made me sad, because I have all these memories of my friend and goofiness in the halls at school and in choir, and bell choir, and behind the stage at musicals...and there is very little photographic evidence of those candid moments. At the same time, it makes the handful of pictures I DO have that much more precious.
It fills me with the urge to print out more of my zillions of pictures of my everyday life, like a yearbook each year of our (entirely fingerless) moments, for us to look back on and hold in our laps and have in our possession before someone passes away.
|Rest in peace, my friend.|
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