I read an article, online obviously, called “The 12 Most Annoying Types of Facebookers” by Brandon Griggs CNN. Unfortunately, I found that I actually fall into one of these categories. It is called “The Paparazzo” and, as the name implies, it describes a person who posts a lot of pictures and then tags people whether they want it or not.
I don’t tag to annoy or even intentionally include other people in pictures. It’s usually because the people happen to be in a photo I took of my children. That comes to the second, and more accurate, part of my problem. I take an inordinate amount of pictures of my children.
There are pictures of my children playing, bathing, eating, jumping, smiling falsely into the camera. I have been known to take photos of my children while they sleep. There are pictures of my children in every class and activity they have participated. If one of my children has ever done anything, there is probably a picture of it. (The one exception being the potty shots, I draw the line there.) So, I have a problem and I can’t stop.
I explain this obsession by saying that since I hardly have pictures of my own youth, I want my children to have hundreds of pictures of theirs. I also want them to get a glimpse of their childhood. I want them to know and have proof, that theirs was a good life. I want them to see it in color, on paper.
I am aware that a happy childhood is in memories and feelings. It’s a sense you get of what life was like. It’s in the reminiscence and exaggeration of our memory. It’s the contentment of life, in not feeling a need to redo, relive. It’s when we say, “Well, in my day.”
I know this consciously. And truly, odds are, my children won’t care one bit whether they have these thousands of pictures documenting their life. But when my memory starts to fade, as inevitably it will, I will look at those pictures and remember a life fully lived. I’ve given all of me to my children and I need to remember that the giving was concrete as well as abstract.