Instant. A word that means so much more in society and to our kids than ever before. Instagram, instant noodles, instant coffee, instant turf, instant banking. The list goes on and on and sadly, we are becoming a world of wanting instant gratification. Social media being the worst because apparently our worth is now determined on how many friends we have on Facebook, followers on Instagram, Twitter and most importantly, the amount of likes we receive on these various forums.
I was watching the TV last night with my 11 year old son when an advert came on for a movie soon to be released. He asked if he could go and see it and I said no. His response was it wasn’t fair because he had to wait! I asked him to repeat what he said because I was gobsmacked by his response. Sure enough, he didn’t like having to wait. I explained to him the movie wasn’t age appropriate and it was rated M which these days, doesn’t seem to matter! The conversation evolved to my childhood when things weren’t always instant and waiting for a roll of film to be developed. Of course, he looked at me strangely and said, what do you mean? The camera I used growing up required a roll of film that had to be finished whether it was a roll of 12, 18, 24 or if it was a big family holiday, a 36 photo roll of film. Once the roll was full and it couldn’t be wound anymore, it was taken to the photo shop to be processed which could take up to a week. Yes, a week. If I wanted double prints, I would have to request that when I placed the order. There was a sense of anticipation and excitement for those photos to be developed and to relive the memories after waiting for soooo long! If there was a blurry shot, we laughed it off, there was no reviewing the shot and deleting it there and then. If there were amazing shots, we would have to look through the negatives, check the number and then take them back to the photo shop to be re developed. As I got older, there were the Polaroid cameras which would print the photo in a little square instantly but they were expensive and only for special occasions. Cameras today, not just on smart phones, are instant themselves using a memory card. Photos can be deleted, taken again to ensure they are perfect and then the memory card put into our computer and photos shared on various mediums. Instant! No waiting, no building of anticipation, no excitement and not a lot of reflection of the memories made beyond the time it is uploaded. I remember putting my photos in albums, carefully writing dates, places and names of those in the shots and if I had time, scrap booking.
Yet for all the ‘instants’ in our lives today, my kids and I still love pouring over old photo albums and looking at the memories I made growing up and even their own photo albums as babes themselves!
Ah, the memories!