How I Made Peace With Instagram


I used to be intimidated by Instagram.

Truth be told, I felt like I wasn't quite hipster enough for it, like Instagram would judge me for loving my trouser jeans as much as my skinnies.   I mean, I JUST got an iPhone a few months ago.  The first version...that came out in was 99¢.

Add to my preexisting insecurities the "Instagram purists."  You know them, the people who snub users that photograph three subjects and three subjects only:

1. Their food. 2. The weather. 3. Their kids.

I'm a stay-at-home mom who sits on her butt and writes in her spare time; what the heck else am I supposed to photograph?

But in recent months I've made peace with Instagram.  Moreover, I love it. I don't love Instagram because of what I can create, or even share.

I love it because of what I can preserve.

I don't make art with my Instagram account, or create images that go viral.  But yesterday, I took this picture of Sam.

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We were sitting in the car pool lane, waiting to collect Madeline from school, and when I said,

"Hey Sammer, are you ready to get Madeline?"  

(still a man of very few words), he responded,

"Ma-line!  Yaaaay!"

This picture, were it not for Instagram, would not exist.  I now have, not a Christmas picture, vacation picture, or even a Sunday morning picture, but a "sitting in the car seat on a Monday" picture that captures just how happy he is when we pick up his big sister, his best buddy, his play mate.

My Instagram photos aren't all framers, but they are framer-in-my-hearters.  They are a collection of the small moments that tend to fall through the cracks of time.  In 10 years I will remember the car pool line, or at least remember having done it, but now I have this snapshot - the color of his car seat, his face, his cheeks.  It wasn't a camera-worthy moment, but it was a phone-camera-worthy moment, and I preserved it.

Just like I preserved Madeline and her princess tunnel.  Sam and the shadow puppets.  Madeline's 5-year-old heartbreak.  Henry, my bed buddy.

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I'm crafting a nest of these tiny, would-be overlooked moments.  A place to snuggle up - to be comforted and warmed when my babies are grown and I can't remember this season perfectly enough (though I know it will never feel perfectly enough, I love it so).  I try never to sacrifice a moment for a picture, but I believe that Instagram is an excellent supplement to my fallible memory.  I recall the emotion, the smells, the love; Instagram recalls the lighting, the dimples.

And that's how I made peace with Instagram, or rather, why I did.  Because regardless of hipness, these precious faces, these moments, are worth preserving.