Friday, April 18, 2014

It's Friday which means I have survived another #tbt...

University of Wisconsin c. 1922 #tbt All these women standing where we stand today are dead now.  Memento mori.
It's Friday which means I have survived another #tbt.  It's curious how people limit nostalgia on social media to a single photograph with a lighthearted caption like "#tbt with the ladies" or "tbt with Dad" when they should be screaming #tbt as if it were REDRUM..."#TBT We're all going to die!!  This old picture is proof!!"

Also, I admit that I don't know the #tbt rules.  Is every week #tbt, or only certain Thursdays?

I hate old photos.  I mean, I really hate and avoid them.  I take pictures, but then I archive them online or in a photo album that I only ever look at when forced by a random school timeline project or when cornered for some unusual reason.

Actually, there are some old pictures that I take and live with on a daily basis but these never get put away, there is no "throw-back" because they are always present.  Mostly, old photos remind me that those days and people are gone and that time is passing too quickly and I can't help but think that this #tbt image of ourselves will outlive us whether we print it out or just leave it as a .jpg trace.

Nostalgia is like quick-sand for me; never as simple as uploading a photo and then moving on. Throwing back requires at least a three hour block of time and each episode leaves its trace for weeks.

I get nostalgic about things that didn't even happen to me; for poetry and music that wasn't even a part of my own generation and so I am careful with #tbt images.  Looking at someone else's "good old days" can open a Pandora's box.

I realize that maybe the #tbt culture is onto something with their quick and lighthearted glances back. They're right on some level to limit the nostalgia to a furtive upload on a given Thursday.  They're also right to focus the other six days on the immediate present.  How can we ever have another "good old day" again if we are constantly living 5, 10 or 20 years ago? What if there is something new out there?  Another good day waiting for us to be present enough to embrace and explore it?

So while I still don't buy into the flippancy and levity of #tbt...I'm opening to the idea of possibly consolidating nostalgia so that we can be more fully present for our lives.

WJT Mitchell — Notes on Picture Theory

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