I love pictures.
I love how they can instantly transport you to a different time and place and make you remember exactly how you felt in that moment. I don’t necessarily love the process of taking them (once upon a time, my photography teacher hated every single picture I took so maybe that’s why), nor do I use a fancy camera, but I still love pictures.
When I created my dontmakemeleaveunc Instagram– which may have been one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had because it makes me want to cry every day– I mentioned this photo obsession. I had 3,037 items (photos and videos) in my Camera Roll when that post was published on January 29th, and today, March 23, I have 3,652 pictures and 281 videos on my phone. Combined, I have 3,933 items in my Camera Roll. I can say with confidence that I will have over 4,000 by the end of Friday. I know I will.
Below is the first picture on my phone.
Excuse the small size, it was taken on my pink Razor phone with one of my best friends Justin. I’m 99% sure that I’m wearing white shorts and that this was a JV football game at my high school, North Meck, in the 11th grade. I think it’s the 11th grade because Justin is a year older than me, went to my rival high school and had it been a Friday night, he would have been playing and I would’ve been cheering. So it had to be on a Thursday night at a JV football game. That’s typically how I figure out the details of a picture and I could be wrong, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I was 16 years old in this picture, but on my flight back from Jamaica a few weeks ago, a woman asked if I was 15. I wouldn’t have minded if she guessed that back in 2009 when this picture was taken, but I’m 22 years old now. Will I always look like I just got my drivers permit???
Sorry, back to the pictures.
The last picture in my phone is below.
I instagrammed this picture on my dontmakemeleaveunc Instagram to mourn the loss of my cornrows. March 9- March 22, 2015. RIP cornrows, I already miss you.
Back in high school, I took my digital camera almost everywhere and took an unnecessary number of pictures. My friends and I could be trying on Halloween costumes, getting ready to cheer at at football game, or simply at school during spirit week dressed up and I would take hundreds of pictures… and put most of them on Facebook (these pictures are still on Facebook and if you want a good laugh, go look at them).
Nowadays I rely on my iPhone’s camera because the quality is pretty good and, most importantly, I can instantly access them.
I use these pictures as an aid to my memory. Sure, I can remember events and places without the help of a photograph, but pictures help enhance the memory for me. When I used my digital camera, I would keep a lot of the pictures on my camera so that I could scroll through and look at them. The images were already on my computer– just like the pictures on my phone are on my computer– but I liked being able to look at them wherever I was.
I could use clues from pictures before and after an image to figure out when it happened, and because I had an arsenal of images, this wasn’t that difficult. After all, I take pictures of everything not just “important” things.
When I heard of an app called Timehop that let you know what you did in the past on social media– including the camera roll on your phone– I was hooked. I could now have certainty in what pictures I took on specific days, the Facebook statuses and picture I uploaded, what I tweeted and what I instagrammed. It was like a dream come true!
I had the app remind me every morning to check what I had been up to in the past and I loved it. I had a daily reminder of the past every single day. I’d text these throwbacks to my best friends from high school, my family or anyone that the picture included. Even though there were some seriously cringe-worthy Facebook statuses (brought to you by dysfunctional relationships), it didn’t deter me from using the app.
Sidenote: why in the world was it acceptable to post statuses with song lyrics all the time??? Why didn’t anyone stop me is probably the better question to ask. These statuses get brought to light every few months when my friends stalk me and bring up my awkward past.
Anyways, I loved this daily reminder of the past so much that I checked it religiously for months and months. It became a part of my routine. I loved Timehop.
Key word: loved.
I’m no longer infatuated with Timehop though my love for pictures is still going strong.
I never thought that I’d get to this point, but here I am. I don’t look forward to looking at Timehop in the morning, and more times than not, I don’t want to see the pictures included in the throwback. I very rarely go through and purge the photos on my phone so they include pictures of things– and people– I don’t want to see first thing in the morning.
Sure, a potential solution could be going through and deleting every picture with “person I don’t talk to anymore”, “ex- best friend” and “ex- boyfriend” but then there will be serious holes in the timeline that is my life. I’d rather an accurate timeline with pictures I don’t want to see every morning than a timeline that doesn’t accurately portray the last 6 years (there are 6 years of pictures on my phone, believe it or not).
Since I used to have to remember when things happened without the help of Timehop, I got pretty good at remembering dates and quite a few of them are still etched in my brain. Today is March 23rd and I could tell you what happened on this day a few years back, but I’ll spare you.
Instead, I’ll remove the daily reminder of the pictures from my daily routine. I’ll keep Timehop on my phone for days when I’m feeling extra nostalgic, but I’ve removed the notification reminding me to check the app every morning.
I don’t want to start my day with a sour taste in my mouth because of Timehop. So I won’t.
Sorry Timehop: it’s not you, it’s me.