I May Be Slow But I’m Catching Up

Instagram, y’all. I love it, but I am so bad at it! I’m doing my best to do better, though. I may be slow, but I’m catching up.

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I think I’ve figured out why it’s been difficult for me to jump on the Instagram bandwagon. Allow me to elaborate.

I’m not ancient or anything, but I do remember the time when photos were kind of a big pain in the hiney. And that time wasn’t that long ago, either.

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You had your camera, then you had to have film for it, and then you either had to take your film to be developed or send it off to be developed. There was no delete function, either. If you took a photo of your finger accidentally covering the lens then you received a photo of your finger covering the lens. And you paid for it. Oh, and if you wanted to take photos inside where your subjects wouldn’t be squinting into the sun you had to have flash cubes. These fitted on top of your camera and went off with an almighty flare of light when you took the photo, so your subjects ended up squinting anyway. That, or looking like they had laser pointers for eyes. (No, there were no laser pointers back then.)

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Not long after I was born my dad bought a Polaroid Land Camera, so that’s what I remember the most from my childhood. This thing was cutting edge, y’all. After the photo was snapped you pulled the picture out from the side of the camera, laid it on the table, and sat there and waited. Seemed like it took forever, but I think it was really only a minute or so. Then you carefully pulled the cover off the square and had your picture! God, they smelled horrible. Polaroid even provided sturdy pieces of cardboard with a sticky side so you could mount your photos on it. The back side of the cardboard had designated areas to write down who was in the picture, where and when it was taken, and even your address. There was also this pink cylindrical thing to roll a sticky paste over the surface of your picture after it developed. This was supposed to keep the photos from fading, and it made them curl up into tubes if you didn’t have them stuck on that cardboard backing. That paste smelled horrible, too, and it got everywhere.

I remember Polaroid Sun Cameras, too. They also had self-developing photos but without the bother of peeling or pasting. They took awful pictures, no matter how talented the photographer. Then Stephen King wrote that story about that evil dog coming out of a Sun camera, and I moved on to the Kodak Disc. The Disc film actually was a disc, and it had to be sent off to be developed. Then the pictures came back and you realized the quality was even worse than the Sun’s was.

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Digital cameras made an appearance not long after this, but they were pains to use. Yes, you could have your photos immediately and delete crappy shots, but downloading them was anything but easy. Memory cards? Ha. No such thing.

And now we use our phones.

But, see? I grew up when taking photos wasn’t easy or fast, and so I kind of forget to take pictures with my phone a lot of the time. Yes, I have the thing in my hand 95% of the time and can take snaps of everything from my pedicure to what I’m having for lunch to the blooms on my hibiscus. I don’t think about doing it, though, because a part of me still thinks I have to save my photo-taking for the right time or something.

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See what happens when I try to take a nice selfie of myself on top of the Pyramid in Memphis with the Mississippi River in the background? Some dude walks behind me wiping his nose! And my hair looks terrible! This is why I rarely do selfies.

And have y’all seen some of those photos on Instagram? They’re all so nice and neat and staged. That’s another reason my feed is sparse. If I’m not wearing makeup then I’m not taking a selfie. And I don’t wear makeup while I’m sitting around the house. Wanna see a photo of my bookshelf? I’m going to have to haul out the Pledge and dustrag first. And as for those nice looking shots of a morning cup of coffee? I’d have to go to someone else’s house to take one of those because behind my cup you’ll probably see where the dog has scattered the pillows on the couch and is now lying there on her back with all four legs in the air, or one of the cats shredded a roll of paper towels all over the living room rug. Hey, it’s early—I’m not going to clean house before I’ve had my first cup of coffee just so I can take a photo of my cup of coffee. You know?

But I’m trying, I really am. I’m working on training myself to just go ahead and take the freakin’ pictures and delete the truly awful ones. I’m even learning to use hashtags! Look at me, all in the 21st century and everything. 😉 So if you’d like to follow me on Instagram, feel free! I apologize in advance about the shredded paper towels.


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