September 9, 2014

BETTER LIVING | Doing It for the Insta

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The exponential growth of social media and its popularity isn’t exactly helping us put down our cell phones. You might come up with something incredibly clever (or so you think) and feel like you have to upload it to Twitter or Yik-Yak. You might even be compelled to do something absolutely crazy and life threatening in a six second clip so people really know You Only Live Once. Whereas Vines have become less popular lately, Instagram shows no signs of slowing down. This trend only promotes the “do-it-for-the-insta” mentality.

I would question anyone’s honesty if they said they’ve never thought about how many likes they might get after taking a “totally insta-worthy” picture. People run outside when the first splotches of pink and orange hit the sky as the sun goes down. They look at the gorges, especially in this brief period of amazing weather, and are determined to get the perfect picture to show how Ithaca really is gorges. Sure, the app might allow some people to keep all of their memories in one place in an electronic hand held device. But, there’s another place to keep all those memories too – and that’s just in your head and heart.

As corny as it might sound, it’s true. The thing about time is that it’s completely relative. If you’re living all those moments that make you feel as if time is slowing down through a screen, you might as well not be there.  There are plenty of beautiful pictures online of waterfalls or gorges or sunsets that probably have better filters than Earlybird or X-Pro II. If you’re going to remember that moment through a picture, then there really was no point in you seeing it first-hand. There’s something about stepping away from all of the prelims, meetings and stress that Cornell might bring to just appreciate the area that we were blessed to learn in.

I’m not saying to drop the phone completely to just live in the moment and remember it all. Considering everything that we have to squeeze into our brains during the semester, it would be a hard goal to achieve. All I’m suggesting is that you shouldn’t take a series of pictures and then spend a frustrated twenty minutes trying to find the right filter. A few snaps will suffice to remind you of the moment and your emotions can fill in the blanks. You don’t need to live for the likes, but for the memories you captured.

Every once in a while you can certainly do it for the Insta, but never cheat yourself by living for it.