Photographs are records of our past- memories stored in paper form as albums or as pixels in our smartphones, hard drives or icloud. Technology and social media have enabled us to share pictures immediately with our loved ones and the world in general. Taking photographs is no longer a visit to a photo studio on special occasions or getting the whole family together for a photo session. All of us have become photographers in our own right with our ever-ready smartphone cameras. But this story isn’t about taking pictures. This story is about the woman at the school who shamed me.
To the woman at the school who shamed me:
Today it is just not about documenting or chronicling events of our lives and saving them as fond memories. It is about selfies and selfie sticks and who is the first one to click a picture and how many at that. If you are not one of those, then you belong to the technically challenged species of the world. You are looked down upon and you suddenly feel raised eyebrows with sarcastic smiles looking your way. And this is what happened to me once at my daughter’s playschool during one of her class events.
Since I am not one of those mothers who is a pro in clicking tonnes of photos each day of her child and is camera-ready all the time, so while my daughter was performing on stage she happened to do a very cute little step and the woman next to me turned immediately towards me. Her look at first was questioning as to why I wasn’t recording my daughter’s performance and then it turned to one of dismay that maybe I wasn’t too much into my child’s performance so didn’t think it necessary to record it.
But, this is what I would like to tell the woman at school who shamed me for not filming my daughter fast enough. My love for my daughter cannot be measured by how many pictures I click of her during the day.
My interest and involvement in her activities cannot be measured by the pictures I click or not during that time. Just a few reasons why I prefer and am not camera-ready all the time:
1. I prefer not to look at my child all the time through a lens
With due respect to all those moms who love taking dozens of pictures of their little ones throughout the day, I personally feel by doing so I deprive myself of enjoying those precious moments to the full capacity. I want to enjoy those moments with the sound and the smell and store them in my memory for future use. I am sure as a mother I would be able to go back to these times in my mind and heart and cherish it as any other mom.
2. Memories only for me
I do have many pictures of my little one that I look at and smile at, but sometimes there are some memories that you want to lock and keep them in your heart without sharing it with anyone. My precious little angel and many of her adorable antics are just for me. I store them in my memory and still go back to them from time to time reliving her toddler days.
3. Sight, sound and smell
I am not averse to taking photographs or filming my child. But not all the time. There are moments when I am so lost in what my little one is doing that the camera never takes priority. I am lost in the sight, the sound and the smell – the moment at times mesmerizes me so much that I would not like it to be broken by any interference of any kind. I prefer to get lost in that moment. Just my child and me.
4. I want to use technology and not to be used by it
Instead of getting overpowered by technology in every step of life, I prefer to use it at my own discretion and will. I decide when is the right time to get a few clicks of my bundle of joy rather than letting it be a constant presence. And I think I am not doing anything wrong.
If you are also one such mom, please do share your story with us at TCT!
by Tasneem Dhinojwala