I know a lot of people, non-millennials specifically, like to make fun of the current generation’s propensity for documenting everything and then sharing it. This is foolish for several reasons.
- I know that previous generations (my parents, my grandparents, etc.) have boxes and shelves of old photos in albums. These photos are as inconsequential as the things that people make fun of millennials for posting on Facebook or Instagram or what have you. They’re of things like someone’s backyard, particular items people found significant at a moment in time, people attending events together even if the events are inconsequential. “Oh, but it’s different because we weren’t sharing those with everyone,” someone might say. Maybe not, but you can bet people are sharing them with others close to them. Constantly. Possibly whether or not the others are actually interested. (We’ve all been to that kind of family event.) Or putting things on our wall, or our desk, or our whatever whatever. “Here’s all these pictures of my children I keep in my wallet” has become “here’s all these pictures of my children I keep on my phone,” and hey, at least if you lose your phone you might be able to get the pictures back via cloud storage or something.
- As I’ve seen people point out before, this is going to be the world’s most well-documented generation. It’s not like the olden days where we have paintings of rich people and the occasional fragments of someone’s private journal found in a secret cupboard or something. We have much more egalitarian and inexpensive access to documentation tools, and why is that bad? People have wanted to be remembered for all time.
- Some of the most egregious social media “oversharers” I know are not, in fact, millennials. They’re older people using modern technology to do the things I mentioned above. And that’s fine! You do you, pal.
- Sometimes sharing things or seeing others’ things can make you smile, dammit.
It’s the last that I’m talking about. Earlier I posted some pictures of my parents’ dog on Instagram. And apparently it was the perfect time of day to do that, because suddenly all of these dog accounts started liking and following me. Dog accounts being not like my own account, which is a personal account that sometimes features said dog (or my cats), but accounts people make to document solely their dog’s life. Typically these are captioned in the first person (“hi, my name is Jazz and I’m a year-old Corgi, welcome to my life”) and without fail, they are adorable.
I’m the kind of person who, when I’m sad, will cheer myself up with pictures of (pretty actresses or) cute animals. Sometimes I look up breeds (the aforementioned Corgi makes a particularly endearing image search) and sometimes I look up animals being friends and sometimes I look up something as specific as “cats dressed as bees” or something. Animals doing goofy things. I’m also the biggest sucker for first-person animal anything (more than once, in childhood and adulthood both, have I bought Beanie Babies because the poem on their tag said something along the lines of ‘please be my friend and love me’ and when you put it like that, how could I not?) so really, this combination is perfect.
Dog accounts (or cat accounts, or whatever accounts), I commend you. You’ve accidentally hit on one of the best mood-lifters ever, because if I’m scrolling and I’m kind of feeling blah, you best believe a cute puppy is going to make me smile.
–your fangirl heroine.