I've been rolling this post around in my head for months but it wasn't until today that it felt like it all came together. I'm hardly the early-adopter tech guru or social media socialite, but I think that's why my opinion can and does matter. Pictured above is a shortened grid view of September 16, 2013. Highlight of the day? A trip to the pediatrician for his two-year appointment. (But really the walk to and from, which is beautiful.) For him? That sucker. Pictures below were all taken by me on various days from the last 218 I've posted on Days. I will not lie: Scrolling through hundreds of pictures to find a few made me cry and feel incredibly grateful for my sweet family and our wonderful life. Wow.
I'm not a 'selfies' person. You know, flipping my iPhone camera around and snapping photos of my cute new haircut or oversized sunglasses while fellow New Yorkers snicker as they brush past me. I'm eternally embarrassed of taking pictures of myself. I think I'm fine looking and happy with myself generally (despite an ever-growing baby belly) but I really don't see the point or want to take the time. Or I didn't. But now I do.
A few days ago, I glanced at Days, like I do everyday, and realized I'd reached 218 days posted. No fanfare, no likes, no free stuff. Just a little button that read 218. It gave me pause. I began scrolling back through my feed, through time, re-living my favorite moments from the last four months. For every photo there was a small memory, and a picture in my mind that I had not just photographed but remembered. Each was a mental link to a memory to a another memory. Reviewing the pictures stirred up super sweet memories of my son beginning to talk, Springtime in New York, final goodbyes, cutting off 15 inches of my hair and a modeling casting for Si (so weird!), my June birthday, finding out the gender of our second child in a small dark hospital room, and all the learning and emotions that go along with working and raising a family.
There was also a second birthday for our little boy and a growing baby bump. And then there were the five months of morning sickness and exhaustion and the frustration with just not feeling like a functioning human being, because I was growing one. It was cathartic, (like re-watching a familiar and favorite movie that I had seen a thousand times). I crave that thoughtfulness and quiet and it's difficult to find a device or technology or app that can actually facilitate that in my own busy life.
I'm not an over-sharer (I think?) but I find myself utilizing Days like a personal record. I take pictures of my house, clean or dirty; 90% of my pictures are of my son and I don't give a second thought as to whether that's "baby picture overload" or whatever; my captions are sometimes personal/sometimes matter-of-fact; sometimes my days are "fully" recorded; sometimes just a single moment to mark that the day had passed What I'm getting at is that I don't feel social pressure or performance stress from Days. That makes me want to yell with happiness and say, This is it! This is not Facebook! This is not Instagram! because it is so refreshing to just be and let be. I feel like I have real ownership of how I use it and it feels so good. There's no set standard or Days etiquette—it feels like unchartered waters and the privacy settings and interface allow it stay like that. You could take a million pictures and filter the heck out of every photo and seriously create the most beautiful keepsake to print/tweet/share to everyone you know. Or, you could share your Days with the one person who knows you best as a way to keep in touch that no text or status update could rival. The user has the power to iterate and interpret the app like none I've ever seen. I am so excited to see what's around the bend in Version II.
(And yes, I take lots of pictures of food. Just like everybody else. :))