Describe it to me…

Image: Pigoff PhotographY

Before I start my diatribe here, let me say that photo sharing online has been a beautiful thing. It’s brought us closer together. It’s kept us in touch. And it keeps us from having to print and mail photos to Grandma twice a year.

But how many times, when you’ve been faced with that perfect sunset, that perfect kiss between bride and groom at a wedding, or that perfect smile with that special-someone, have you obliterated the moment by pulling out your phone to share it online?

And then, at a later date, when someone asks you to tell them about it, how often have you responded with something like, “Hang on, I’ll just show you…” as you pull out your phone?

And let me ask you this — as you’re showing them this photo, is it ever as good as you remember it? Does that photo Ever come close to doing that moment justice?

Yes, it’s true. A good picture is worth a thousand words. But unless you’re a photographer, I’m guessing your Instagram photos are as bad as mine (let’s be real here).

But what do we do? We go with it because it’s all we have. We don’t even attempt to describe the moment in beautifully vivid detail because, in that magic moment, we weren’t really there. We were looking through a 5.5 inch screen (or, if you’re lame like me, a 4-inch one)… And then picking the filter… Then the clever caption… The perfect hashtags, etc… All the while, the moment was slipping out the back door.


Are you losing the depth of your life in the name of hearts and social shares?


We’ve been getting a ton of snow here in the Tahoe area. For a winter-lover like myself, I’ve been in heaven. Being a writer, there’s nothing better than sitting down in a warm house while watching the snow falling. I’m absolutely loving it.

Last night, I went out to gather firewood. It was about 10:00 pm. 5 inches of fresh snow had fallen in the previous four or five hours. This was the most snow I’ve seen in the Carson Valley in decades. We’ve been needing this kind of deluge for the longest time, and here it was. Up to my calf.

Well, guess what I did?…

Yep, without even thinking, I reached into my pocket, pulled out my phone, and snapped a damn photo of my back yard.

As soon as I did it, this realization — the one I’m writing about to you now — hit me.

Damn it…

I looked at the image on my phone and was so disappointed.

I somehow found the wherewithal to stop myself before sharing it. Instead, I consciously let the depth of the moment seep through my mittens, into my pores, and deep into my soul.

And now, I can describe it to you way better than some lame photo...

I don’t know if you’re familiar with snow, but this was one of those nights where it’s so white and so bright that it’s like daytime in the middle of the night…

When you close your eyes, you feel blanketed in it.

The only sounds you can hear, if you listen really closely, are the muffled taps of huge snowflakes hitting your hood.

As you walk, pillows of snow absorb your weight as the urge to trust-fall back into it arises.

But you keep on walking.

Because it’s cold. And it’s late. And you’re only wearing a sweater. And that would be really uncomfortable. And you have to get firewood to heat up the house.

But right now, standing in it, you feel safely enveloped.

From your backyard…
To the streets in your neighborhood…
To the surrounding pastures…
And increasingly as you rise in elevation…
To the vast, moonlit mountain range peering down on you…
All of it, luminescent.

Sure beats just whipping out my phone and showing you this, right?…

In closing, I’m not fully against sharing on social media.

Please. I’m sure your photos are wonderful. But this isn’t about me or anyone else in your audience. This is about you…

Savor first. Share second.

Before you snap that photo, ask yourself…

Is this worth possibly losing the enjoyment of this moment for a share? Or should I just leave the phone in my pocket and take this in?

When you take it in, if the moment is still ripe, please share it with us.

But if you don’t, we won’t mind 😉

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Jonas writes short daily stories and preachments on the daily here in Higher Thoughts. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing below.

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