While there is a lot said about the person that is constantly taking pictures of everything they see, it is just recently that I have started seeing the merit of this activity.I recently started an instagram account, and I have been playing with it like a kid using a camera for the first time. I am taking pictures of everything I find interesting and pretty and then going through this moment in time through all of the available lenses to capture the moment in the best possible light. Doing this, it felt frivolous and self-indulgent, but going back on the pictures I took, it didn't seem that way anymore.

Our memories are said to be more valuable than the things we own or the pictures we take, but memories are just as easily lost or destroyed as a photograph or a souvenir.Furthermore, our minds filter through a day just like a filter on instagram, and the image is rarely as flattering.What looks like a beautiful landscape can be a depressing image of suburban sprawl depending on where one's mind is at. What's wrong with keeping a picture as remembrance of the beautiful landscape instead of the bleak one?When you look back, it could trigger a better feeling than your memories could bring up.

At first, I wanted to download instagram so that I could share pictures from my trip with my family and friends.I wanted to show all the new things I would see and people I would meet. So far, I've actually used it as a way to connect with my as of now unnamed Host Family.I wanted to show them the places I go to and the things I see in order to generate some understanding and dialog. As much as I am interested in seeing how things are in another culture, I am assuming that my host family would be interested in how things are like in my own. Pumpkin displays and Wawa are commonplace in my world, but this is a unique perspective to others.It's something to share as I learn firsthand how to get around from their perspective.

I no longer think that taking pictures of everything you see is a self-indulgent, frivolous pursuit of self-aware branding. I now see it was a new way that we can shape our memory and experience. We can also share our experiences from a different perspective and share our different perspective when we go somewhere new. This is a great opportunity for retrospection and cultural exchange. And never mind how fun it is to point, shoot, and filter.

EDIT: I changed the picture, and things look fine. Carry on.