Thursday, April 9, 2015

Why I'm Thankful for Selfies

Dear Ian,

Check the internet, M'boy.  The whole slap dang thing is full of self-posed (self-possessed?), self-taken images of people.  While not new, smart phones have made selfies the norm, for the most part due to their portability, large memory storage for tons of pics, and that snazzy little button that allows you to see the picture you are taking of yourself.

Some will argue that selfies will be the downfall of human society.  People are becoming more and more narcissistic, selfishly subjecting the world to their comings and goings, and some are even walking off cliffs while posting "YOLO!" attached to a photo of themselves.  By the way, YOLO means "you only live once."  Please dont ever utter this, son.  I will wash your mouth out with soap.  I don't really have an opinion either way as to whether or not selfies will ruin humanity, so that's neither here nor there, and the point of this post is not to condone or condemn society's love for itself, but to admit that I have taken a few myself.  And I am thankful for them.  This thankfulness is new-found, and here's why:

Photo #1 - yes, that's baby me
Today is my Grandma Davis' birthday.   You never got to meet your great-grandmother on the Davis side, and that makes me really sad.  She was an awesome lady.  I've posted a bit about her in the past; I think it's in some of the first letters I ever wrote to you, and I can only hope to do her justice when I talk to you about her - or any of your great grands - and share her memories.  I went looking for photos of her and me together today, and I was sad to only find TWO in my photo albums.  I'm sure Grandma and Papa Davis have way more, but in my books, I only had two.  Grandma and I are a lot a like; we're the family historians.  We take the pictures, but most of the time we're not in them.  And due to this, we have this situation where I can't share more of her with you, because I only have two pictures.

Photo #2
Little boy, I don't want this to be you, so enter my new love of the selfie.  Goodness, I think I just broke out in hives typing that.  But yes, I am thankful that I have the option to switch the camera angle so I can get a photo of you and me doing whatever it is we're doing.  I want to cherish those memories, and I want you to be able to look back at them.  Sure, we may look ridiculous, I may have a double chin due to the angle, and people may call us selfish, but we have captured our moments.  We made time stand still, and you will be able (thanks to the printing of these letters in books) to look back on them and tell your kids, "this is your lunatic grandmother and I when we did fill-in-the-blank."  And on that same vein, I am going to start asking others to take pictures of us.  Even though I will probably never look the way I want to look in photos, I owe them to you.  You need to be able to share your memories with the next generations of us.  Come to think of it, I am going to officially put your other family members on notice.  They will now be in photos.  I have spoken. 

I'm sure in your teenage years, you will roll your eyes, pout and begrudgingly pose with me for a snapshot.  But keep this in mind, Bear - one day, the ones we love will only be around in photos.  Smile for the dang camera.

Cheese, and I LOVE YOU!

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