We’ve come a long way from getting film developed at CVS from our parent’s big bulky cameras. We’ve gone from sharing those pictures in big photo albums stored in our living rooms to sharing those photos on social media in digital albums for all to see. And now, we’ve gone from over sharing to instant sharing and then of course instant disappearing.
Here are 14 stages of taking and sharing pics:
1. Getting photographed by a “Medium-Sized Camera With Film” at sporting events, field days, family vacations, and birthday parties. You would then go with your parents to your local CVS and/or Walgreens to drop off and pick up your pictures. Pick up was literally THE MOST EXCITING TIME EVER, because you would get to go through the pictures. The worst was when you saw the picture that showed all the film slides together and realized the pictures didn’t come out… but the best was when you had some keepers to put in one of your mom’s gigantic photo albums.
2. Bringing a disposable camera to school or camp and taking pics with all your friends. Always needed one of these babies on field trip days.
3. Taking underwater pictures with your camp friends in the pool with your SUPER COOL DISPOSABLE WATERPROOF CAMERA. “Say cheese underwater.” “ChEeEeEeEeEsE.”
4. Snapping pictures in the middle school halls with your I-Zone Polaroid Camera. And then sticking those pictures on your agenda so everyone around you could see how social and cool you were. INSTANT PICTURES?! WHAT A CONCEPT!
5. Carrying your big, bulky digital camera around with you and taking pictures for a new album on your Community Webshots page. These things were there for your first beer, your first hangover, the first time you got threw up from excessive Smirnoff Ice consumption, senior night, prom, graduation, and probably even your first blow job. Literally, your camera was always with you. This is why our bags were so big. ~*They were full of secrets.*~ Every photo these bad boys snapped were probably posted to Community Webshots, which has been deleted, RIP… or were printed out (at CVS) and posted to poster board to create some crazy collage of your friends doing weird ass things while wearing shirts that didn’t fit from Abercrombie and Fitch and American Eagle. It was a rough time.
6. Perfecting your amateur selfie game on Photo Booth thanks to your trusty Mac, and then using your duck-faced gem as your MySpace (or later, Facebook) prof pic. Or, if you weren’t cool enough to have a Mac, you did this at the Apple store while strolling through the mall with your friends. They say Instagram and selfies just recently became a thing, but I was killing the selfie/filter game back in ’06 when Kylie Jenner was 9 years old. This guy was too. Can we talk about this for a hot min?
7. Using a smaller, but still big and bulky digital camera to transition from high school to college with — and from Webshots to Facebook. Facebook in a series of 3 albums because back then, you could only post 60 photos in an album at a time. HOW UNFAIR. AMIRITE!?
8. Snappin’ pics with your flip phone camera. While your big, digital, bulky camera was still very much a thing, sometimes you attempted to take photos with your flip phone camera too. Never did they ever come out even somewhat decent looking, but oh well.
9. Upgrading your digital camera to reflect your style, and also so it could finally fit in your bag without weighing down your shoulders. By the time these things came around, it was standard that if you took pictures, you would have to upload them immediately to Facebook the next day so the people in them could see if the pics were candidates for new profile pictures OR so others could stalk the shit out of your album. No one liked the person who wouldn’t upload their pictures for weeks, or possibly never. This constant need to take 100+ pictures a night was the reason we had so many clothes too. You could NEVER be caught dead in the same outfit in two photo albums. That’s why you wore a new outfit every time you went out. This was not okay, but it was okay. Whatever.
10. Uploading muploads via your Blackberry. Even though they came out like SHIT, mobile uploads were SoOoOoOoOo cool. Now everything is a “mupload.”
11. iPhone pictures, which gave way to the end of Facebook albums. When everything started to become muploads thanks to high quality cameras on iPhones and Androids, we ditched the FB album and started posting everything to one album — “MOBILE UPLOADS.” By this point, FB allowed an infinite amount of pictures in one album so that was good.
12. Instagram. Us folk who grew up with Myspace, Webshots, 60-picture Facebook albums, etc did not know how to handle Instagram at first. This was because you couldn’t upload ALL your pics to it like you had done forever… you could only choose up to maybe three at a time because anything higher than that was excessive. You started migrating from posting all your pics from one night to Facebook to posting “the true few” on Instagram and then to your “Instagram” album on Facebook. Then you experienced the internal struggle of not knowing if it’s too much to post the same pictures on Instagram and Facebook because people most likely won’t like it in two places. This struggle is still real. To us, not teens.
13. Snapchatting. Snapchat was a game changer. We had struggled so much to adjust from posting a million pictures to Facebook to a few good ones to Instagram and now technology wanted us to snap our photos and document them on a silly app that would make the pictures disappear 24 hours later?! We thought the art of picture taking was over as we knew it, but it wasn’t — it was just changing, and it still is.
Teens use Snapchat. Teens have a rule that they can only post ONE photo to Instagram a day. Teens don’t use Facebook because it is NOT – I repeat -NOT on fleek. Teens are not us. And we are not teens.
In this situation, I’d have to say teens are the ones who come out on top. We come from the oversharing generation. Most of still have thousands of tagged photos that probably should have been documented on Snapchat and disappeared 24 hours later because now 6 or 7 years later, I cringe when I look at the shit I used to post online.
So although I miss taking TONS of photos while out and posting them online for all to see, I don’t miss the humiliation that comes from looking at these photos years later. Or maybe I do. Because… one word:
14. Timehop. I have a love/hate relationship with this app because although I hate the shit I used to post, I love having it there for me to look and laugh at. It’s so sad to know that from now on, I won’t have all of these memories documented online or in some silly IRL photo album. No one prints pictures anymore. People barely even take print-worthy pictures anymore. Everything is so instant — Taken in an instant and gone in an instant. If that’s where we are now (hi, Snapchat), I kind of fear for where we’ll go next.
I love pictures. I want pictures to live on forever. I miss having nice pictures from quality cameras. I miss having memories document of my friends and I. I miss not having hundreds of selfies in my phone of myself making funny faces (sorry I’m not sorry).
Something I don’t miss: Updating my status. That was rough.