I was lying in bed this morning, trying to think of some reason (other than a refreshing vanilla diet coke) to get up. In the manner of an expert in avoidance, I procrastinated for at least an hour or so on social media before eventually pouring that fizzy black drink to scoff at my desk as I checked emails and the like.
Understandably my Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook feeds are cluttered with Christmas trees and other seasonal decorating efforts.
I don’t actually own a Christmas tree and have no real desire to do so, but it’s had me thinking about what I’d buy if I was so inclined.
The other thing I’ve pondered on is the much-maligned but alternatively-adored issue of technology and technological changes.
Most of the non-blogger types I know bemoan the food-photographing mania that is Instagram. And some only see Facebook as a necessary evil.
And I get that – having talked about the life-envy I suffer as a result of Instagram in particular.
However… today I’ve been considering its benefits.
My family had the same Christmas tree throughout my childhood. It was a green and silver tinsel tree—the tinsel strips wrapped around metal sticks that one inserted into a base and trunk. Each year we’d diligently sort the branches into ‘big’ and ‘small’ piles. The bigger ones going on the bottom obviously… and insert them into the holes on the faux trunk before decorating them. We didn’t need Christmas lights as the
subtle overhead bright fluorescent lighting danced off the tinsel, bathing our lounge in sparkling reflections.
I loved that tree but over the years more and more of the tinsel disappeared until it became less-festive and somewhat pathetic. Naturally my Christmas-loving parents (mostly my mum) moved on with a new green plastic tree.
I wonder however if one of the reasons I haven’t ever bought my own tree (in 20-30 years of adulthood) is because nothing will measure up to the tree (and memories) of my childhood.
But… do you know what? I can’t even share those memories because we don’t have any decent photographs of that bloody tree. This pic from 1971 is as close as it gets.
I wondered why on earth we hadn’t taken a picture. I mean, in recent years family members (and even I on occasions) have documented their Christmas tree surrounded by so many presents one cannot help but feel ashamed at our largesse.
And then I realised. When I was young we used film. We had to buy film for our cameras (or polaroids) and then it cost money to have them developed. We were more circumspect when it came to taking pictures…. each click represented our hard-earned money.
But now… it costs us nothing (except sometimes our humility… when overexposure comes with a whole new meaning!). And what occurs to me now is that it’s not always the posed portraits that we want in later life. We may well want to remember that amazing meal we ate in a little restaurant by the beach. We may prefer the drunken group selfie with real smiling faces rather than the posed ones of hours earlier.
I know technology has its downsides: I’ve occasionally been so busy documenting what I’m doing that I haven’t enjoyed doing it. But I need to remind myself sometimes that it’s not all bad. (And not just cos of Netflix and the like.) I can’t even imagine what technology will be like in 10, 20, even 30 years. I hope I’m around to see it. (And someone please donk me on the head if I start reminiscing about how much better life was when I was a girl…)
Do you remember cameras with film? Ones you had to send away to be developed?
Can you even imagine what technological changes we’ll see in our lifetimes?