Sharing the moments of your life

Well, much to Daniel’s chagrin, I posted the official and traditional first day of school photo this week on Facebook. He refused to smile even though he was excited to be back to school. He dropped his backpack off at school during the open house, so we had no “props” for him to hold in the photo. It was just a quick snapshot of him up against the living room door before he bounded out to the car.

I wasn’t alone in posting photos. All of nieces and nephews showed off pictures of their kids in their first-day-of-school new outfits. All were smiling with the anticipation that a new school year brings. There were lots of folks from around Webster City, too, who uploaded photos to the social media site. I wonder how many thousands and thousands – more likely millions – of photos have passed through the Facebook servers in these past few months. Vacations, family reunions, class reunions, trips to summer camp, weddings, baseball games and many other life events are recorded, uploaded and shared with friends and family around the world. You have to be careful which photos you upload and careful with whom you share them, of course. That’s a little scary considering how permanent things are once put online. But it’s also kind of wondrous to think that photos of the new baby can be instantly shared with relatives in Sweden or Israel or wherever.

These all used to be what Kodak called “the moments of your life.” With so much digital content, an actual paper photograph is pretty uncommon anymore.

I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon with some of my friends and family – photo bombing. Do you know what this? That’s when someone jumps into the frame of a photo, usually in the background, without the principal subjects knowing about it at least not until after the photo is taken. Some of those pictures can be quite amusing. Others can be quite aggravating. I can understand an unintentional step into a photograph, but why people purposely sabotage shots is beyond my understanding. I’ve noticed that most of those shots involve some sort of adult beverage in hand.

Of all the photos posted online, selfies seem to puzzle me the most. “Selfies” or self portraits, seem to be really popular with younger Facebook users. I know one young friend who takes pictures of herself using the bathroom mirror and her phone’s camera. She smiles, smirks, purses her lips, takes shots at weird angles or with sunglasses or wearing a funny hat and then posts them – usually 35 or 40 at a time. Who has time for that kind of activity?

So as a dog lover, my favorite Facebook photos are of people’s pets. There are lots of photos of cats and dogs and hamsters and other animals. I’ve uploaded my fair share of cutesy puppy shots. Often, people will caption them. We’ve done that a few times. One that comes to mind is a photo of Buster, our little dog, who is a very cunning little sneak thief. Don’t leave a sandwich on a plate on the table, or it will be gone when you get back. A slice of pizza left on a side table while you get a drink – gone. So, we posted a great shot of the little stinker with what we thought he might be saying if he could – “Did that pizza have your name on it? I didn’t think so.”

So, keep sharing those Kodak moments with your friends, but remember, before you hit “upload,” they’ll be around online forever.

And please, no more selfies.