The Life Behind the Picture

Living in today's society each and everyone of our lives are made up of pictures, screen shots and selfies that capture a specific time and place in our memories. They are built on meaning that go deeper than just what appears. They hold memories, feelings and explanations that only the person posting them may know. Social media has blown up into this huge social movement, where people are sharing their stories, their snap shots of time that they hold so dear. We post pictures, in hopes to represent ourselves online and share that with the world. Unfortunately we are unable to know the meaning behind every picture posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We do not have the ability to call up people and ask for an explanation behind their posts. Due to that fact, I will be taking four of my own pictures that I felt represented me best throughout my social media accounts and will describe them and their significance.

The photo that is seen above, is a picture that is taken of my siblings and I (from left to right, Me. My older bother Tim, 24, my older sister Annie, 23, and my younger brother Kevin, 19) on Thanksgiving. We are all on our breaks from school and together at my Vermont house located in Chester, Vermont. From just looking at this picture one can automatically notice what we look like, where we are, and what our emotions seem to be which is exactly what I felt viewers assumptions of this picture would be. Those who know my family and those who just know them through this picture can already assume we must be close and or something must be funny, because we are all laughing. I chose this picture because what appears to the eye does not tell the whole story. This particular picture I feel represents a big part of my life, which is why I choose to share it online with the world. Family is very important to a lot of people, but to me they are everything. We are not just connected by blood; we share bonds that will never be broken. In a culture today with the majority of households divided by broken homes, we stand with the minority. Together we make each other stronger, even when we live miles upon miles apart, the relationships we share are not harmed. This picture represents that bond for me. We stand and face everything together no matter what life throws at us, and by posting this picture it confirms that. Along with family connection that I wanted to be represented through this photo, the location also is a huge part of my family. Growing up taking weekend trips to Vermont was a vital part of my childhood. This location symbolizes strength and provides a connection between us like no other in the world. It is were we call home and will always return too no matter where life takes us in the future. By posting the picture online I am opening up this aspect of my life to the world, every part of this picture represents huge part of my life, which is why it is important to me.

Another Photo that I posted on Instagram that generally represents another big part of my life. I have been playing lacrosse my entire life and currently play division 1 lacrosse at Saint Joseph’s University. Through this picture I am trying to represent a different side of my life, the athletic side. Which is seen through the lacrosse stick in my hand, and googles on my face. One can also infer that i love the sport due to the smile on my face. One a lot of people don’t know just by looking at this picture is it is also representing friendship. The penny I am wearing that is showing the number “23” is out of respect for one of my teammates. At the beginning of the season she torn her labrum in her shoulder, which ended her season way to early. Wearing her penny and posting this picture represented how she is still out on the field with us no matter her role on the team now. My teammates are very important to me which is why I chose this picture in particular. Professor Beth Coleman’s work in particular stands out to to me and relates directly to this photo because she “believes in the power of storytelling to transform the world”. This photo is telling a story, when I look back at it, it reminds me of a specific time and place along with so many different emotions. I believe that through this picture it can help people around the world be more aware of others and their lives. To connect with and respect others and represent that through a photo online. These photos are figures of transformation. The pictures we choose to represent us online transform us and convey important information about who we are. The online world then is able to connect you as a person to the pictures you post online.

This photo shown above, it taken during the summer, while I was up in Vermont, on my boat in the Connecticut River and is currently my Twitter profile picture. This picture is in fact not candid (even though it may look it), it is a “selfie” in a way but was taken by someone else also referred to as a “ussie”. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted the picture to look like and after many, many attempts I finally got one that I liked. I liked it so much that I did end up using it as my profile picture on Twitter. I used it to represent me online. This picture I honestly believe in a way is representing me to others as a “basic white girl” which places me in that category. Many people see this picture and all they see is the fact that I am posing for a picture, in my bathing suit and on my boat, which kind of screams “BASIC WHITE GIRL”. I’m not going to deny that or try to fight it, but that is my life, and through this picture many people will make that reference. Rachel Syme discusses the fact that Selfies are very important, they have the ability to be teaching tools and help us get to know each other better. This picture, though comes off in a particular way, gives my audience the ability to get to know me better. Just by this picture they now know my race, and some what the culture I live in. I chose this picture to represent me not only because I generally like it but because it opens up a way for people to get to know me better.

The small picture above is my Instagram profile picture. Even though it is small I still love it. By posting this as my profile picture I am for one, confirming my gender as a girl, along with my race being white. Most of the time the little profile picture is all people can see when requesting or accepting someone on Instagram, so that small snap shot tells a lot. So I generally am anticipating people to find it funny, along with the idea that I like animals due to the fact that I’m basically kissing a cow. What a lot of people can’t tell from this picture is that I am in Vermont, at a farm I used to visit every Sunday with my family, playing with all the farm animals but in particular I loved the cows. Pictures represent so many different things to so many people. They put them up because they want to share stories and parts of themselves with the online world, and by me sharing this particular picture I am opening up a part of my history, a part of me I hold so dear and sharing it with the world, in hopes people will get to know me in a different way. By setting this as a profile picture I will be able to look back at it in 20–30 years and remember the exact feelings I had in it and the history that goes along with that.

There are stories behind every picture people post, from the happy times in someones lives to the times where they are reaching out for support. People are formulating their identities online, which transforms their image and allows others to get to know them on a different level. Pictures represent many different thing to people, they are opening themselves up to a world filled with so many different opinion, races, religions and cultures in the hopes that they’re accepted and represent something deeper than what appears on the screen.