Pics or It Didn't Happen
Remember about ten years ago when "pics or it didn't happen" was a thing? Conversations that included this phrase usually went something like: Bragging person: I went swimming with Bon Jovi last night and he put up a sign by his pool that said 'Slippery when wet.'
Disbelieving friend: Yeah right. Pics or it didn't happen.
As a whole, we have taken that phrase far too literally in the last few years. Don't believe me? Let me share with you some of the most recent gems from my iPhone and Instagram account.
I posted a picture of the book I got to pre-read. You know, just in case I said "I get to pre-read this book" and no one believed me.
I said on Instagram that I was eating a colorful meal, and then took this picture. Just in case I said I was eating colorful food and someone was all, "Oh really? How colorful IS IT?"
I'm guessing you can kind of see where I'm going with this, but I'm having fun so let's continue.
I tweeted that I was drinking tea with words on the box that I didn't understand. And because drinking pink tea out of a Punisher mug is funny, I posted a picture.
I actually took this pic for my blog, as if to prove that yes, I really am committed to reading 50 books this year and see: here are some of the ones I bought.
You see what I mean, right? Go through your phone. I bet you do the same thing.
Anyone above the age of 20 can probably remember a time when we put film in our camera and never knew until we dropped it off at the local Walmart whether our summer camp snapshots and hiking views came out all right (we went to one-hour photo if we were really anxious, kids). You also probably remember, then, that we didn't take too many mundane pictures of things like food and books, or a thousand shots of one event just to make sure that we captured it right.
We took the time to enjoy moments through our own eyes before we thought to take a picture. And we made sure that anything we documented was worth taking that bulky camera out of the case hanging around our necks because we simply had to remember it.
Don't get me wrong. I still use my phone to take and share pictures of my nieces and nephew, because there are no cuter people on this planet. And there are times where I'm so glad I have my phone nearby so I can photograph a moment that I don't want to forget.
But haven't we taken the whole pics or it didn't happen thing just a little too far? What are we trying to prove?
By all means, share the beautiful street art that you found walking through the city.
And please, feel absolutely free to upload your fantastic views, fancy food, adorable children, landmark locations, and neatly organized closets onto whatever social media strikes your fancy. There's just one thing I ask.
Do it for you.
If you're posting those pictures for the likes, the retweets, the comments or the favorites, you're not really sharing memories. You're falling prey to the pics or it didn't happen syndrome, feeling like you have to prove just how good/beautiful/spectacular/tasty something was to everyone else before you can believe it yourself.
Share your moments because you want to, not because you need the validation that social media can bring in order to enjoy them.
But by all means, if you go swimming with Bon Jovi, I will be needing a picture of that.