Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hipster Problems

We have a little problem at our house. It's causing some tension and disturbing the calm of our otherwise placid family life. And while I'm not usually one for pointing fingers, this time I know exactly who to blame for our misfortunes.


The disruption stems from the fact that there are quite a few of us around here who are passionate about the process of taking, editing and posting to that popular app the most pleasing pics of our daily life. And because we live, eat, work, and play together, our daily lives tend to overlap quite a bit. We also have similar ideas of what is beautiful, interesting, and Instagram-worthy.

Which means we are often inspired to post photos of the same subjects.

And that, my friends, is causing a problem that I call competitive Instagramming.

Let me explain exactly how this works. See, when we are out and about together, we are all attracted to the same grand and glorious vistas, such as glowing sunsets and towering icons.

And we are drawn to the same kinds of precious details, like a group of waddling mallards near the water's edge, and adorable bouquets of flowers.

At home, an attractive meal entices us all to take a few shots, and our fleet of adorable pets often calls forth more snapping cameras than Justin Bieber's paparazzi.

So what's the problem? Well, we all take pics of the same subjects, so then we end up flooding the Instagram feed with a handful of almost-identical photos of the same subject at the same time. And it seems that some of the artists living under this roof would prefer to be seen as individuals, rather than one of a pack of like-minded Instagramming automatons. 

In other words, it's just not cool to post matching Instagrams with your mommy.

I get that. I really do.

So when we were at Whole Foods Market today, and I was just about ready to snap a photo of this gorgeous display of winter citrus fruits, I understood exactly what was happening when one of my daughters quickly positioned her phone in front of mine, in a bold attempt to claim this subject as her own.

However, I couldn't resist the urge to quickly snap a shot of her photograph in progress. And then, before she had a chance to upload her photo, I posted mine with the caption, "Instagramming the Instagrammer."

I thought it was funny. She was not amused. 

Later, I felt kinda bad about antagonizing my baby in this latest round of competitive Instagramming. So I made the ultimate sacrifice: this evening, when we had created two of the most beautiful hot fudge brownie ice cream sundaes for dessert, my daughter reached for her phone and took a few shots of her delicious masterpiece. I smiled at her, and said, "That is going to be a great picture!" 

Then, without even glancing toward my own phone, I put my spoon into my ice cream and began to eat.

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