I was recently tagged in a photo from nearly two years ago on Facebook. Upon seeing this photo I immediately was flooded with memories of my backpacking trip around Europe with my best friend. These positive memories were short lived when the next thought popped into my head “Wow! I was a lot more chubby than I remembered….” this led to a spiral of self reflection about my body image and how I’ve changed both physically, mentally and emotionally throughout the years. Would I have been better off with simply my memories? Do photos and the ability to see them instantly and keep them forever ruin the preciousness and uniqueness of our own memories? Before this was possible all we had were the images we created in our own minds. We could access them when we pleased, and they were exactly how we wanted to remember them. Some fade over time, others remain fresh as the day they happened; but isn’t that how its meant to be? Do we over load our minds with data by keeping digital copies of our memories? Shouldn’t we naturally make room for new thoughts and reflections?
While its great to have reminders of the good things in the past, we may too often dwell on the negative. Life is too short to dwell. We often find ourselves worried about how a certain picture we post will make others view or judge us. My trip to Europe would have remained positive and unclouded by my reflection of my physical appearance, had I not been tagged in that photo. Don’t get me wrong, I love photography and the way it enables us to see things we may not have had a chance to see otherwise; but I also believe in moderation. Technology in essence makes our memories (and associated emotions) permanent, and sometimes inescapable. So enjoy things while they are happening. Soak up the moment and don’t worry so much about capturing that photo to remember it later. You will always have your memory database in your head. Isn’t that enough?