People who don’t use Instagram rip on those who do all the time. I’ve heard the comments such as, “people show off a glamorized picture of their lives.” That’s absolutely true. Or the comment of, “those filters make every picture look washed out.” Also, true. And finally the comment, “a picture never tells the whole story.”
All of these comments are true. Pictures don’t tell the whole story, they can only share one perspective on a moment. Most people try to take pictures that glamorize the moment, that isn’t an Instagram problem.
But maybe Instagram is onto something. Maybe the reason it’s one of the most popular social networks despite being as simple as sharing one picture at a time is because it gets at something we all know deep down.
Instagram boils life down to select pictures, select moments. They don’t last long but sharing them gives them long life. We can revel in the moment longer as others appreciate it as well. Maybe it’s these short moments we should be living for. By diminishing the value of a moment, maybe we miss out on the best things in life. Consider what Frederick Buechner had to say about the value of moments:
Who knows how the awareness of God’s love first hits -people? Every person has his own tale to tell, including the person who would not believe in God if you paid him.
Some moment happens in your life that makes you say Yes right up to the roots of your hair, that makes it worth having been born just to have happen. Laughing with somebody till the tears run down your cheeks. Waking up to the first snow. Being in bed with somebody you love.
Whether you thank God for such a moment or thank your lucky stars, it is a moment that is trying to open up your whole life. If you try to turn your back on such a moment and hurry along to Business as Usual, it may lose you the whole ball game. If you throw your arms around such a moment and hug it like crazy, it may save your soul.
How about the person you know who as far as you can possibly tell has never had such a moment? Maybe for that person the moment that has to happen is you.”
I tend to look at life from a big picture perspective. I never allow myself to become fully engrossed in the present moment because there’s always something to keep in mind regarding the future.
Essentially I’m hedging my bet that staying more relaxed about the present could make the future even better. And by doing that, I miss out on so much. Everything is sweeter and more life giving when we fully invest ourselves in it instead of waiting for something greater down the line.
It’s this Instagram kind of life—a life lived moment by moment—that gives God-sized moments. Sure we can over glamorize our pictures and our moments, but let’s not undervalue them either.
One mentality I’ve encouraged myself to live by is simply this: live a life worth sharing, that you’re too busy living to share. Now obviously since I do share pictures and status updates I’ve only managed to fulfill this at times, but the underlying principle is that the moments shared should come out of living a full life, not seeking attention.
I see Instagram being a great reminder for us to suck all the life out of these moments. More than for getting likes on our photos, but because some of the richest parts of life fade as quickly as the moment.
Keep sharing those moments, but even more so, strive to become the moment other people are seeking.
By the way, you can follow me on Instagram HERE.