Story last updated at 3/26/2014 - 1:45 pm
I posted pictures of food and fish on my Instagram yesterday.
I later thought, food? Really? Was I that guy? Did anyone really care that I was eating a pan-sized cookie with ice cream?
I spent spring break in California roaming around Manteca, the town I called home for a decade, so I am assuming the feedback in the form of "likes" was more a product of sharing a life moment than the actual cookie. After all, a 30-inch steelhead is much more "like"-able than dessert.
I led a discussion in my former journalism class about online identity and how a personal filter or standards change over time. After being a high school teacher in California, I saw that to be without social media is to miss out on at least a portion of the teenage social experience. That's not to say that it's a requirement of being a teenager, but like it or not, it's a part of contemporary society.
What I gleaned from the candid discussion was what I expected. Social media can be used for good and evil, and though the evil should be avoided, it is interesting and still shared.
I asked my students if they thought I was being self-centered with my selfies. They said I was in the clear since the use of social media has replaced other modes of communication and my use was to show what I was up to, not remind people what I look like. Good thing, because I read a study from the U.K. about selfies having an adverse effect. According to the study, people like other people less if they post a lot of selfies.
I decided to dig deeper and revisit my posts. What I am putting out there for my followers to see?
Analysis of my Instagram revealed that of my 192 posts: I took all but four, I am in 34 - six of those are from when I was in ninth grade or younger (#ThrowbackThursday). Other highlights include 71 scenic images of sunsets or hikes, 12 of me holding fish, 11 of fish I'm not holding, nine images of deer meat or fish-turned-dinner, two quotes of stuff I didn't say and the rest range from images of fly tying, hunting, rivers and shrimp to a Weber grill on fire and one of a shaving blade affixed to a butter knife because I packed a blade but not the handle. Forty people thought that was funny enough to like it.
Alaskans pride themselves on being a little more self-reliant, a little less materialistic than the rest, but that doesn't mean we're immune to the temptation of what's hip.
As much as I conformed when I went to college in Arizona and taught in California, I'd like to think my Alaskan sensibilities remained, at least partially, intact.
Capturing angling or hunting moments has been apart of a life afield since going afield stopped being exclusively for food. So an underwater photo of a steelhead, an image of me with the buck I shot last fall isn't all that dissimilar than the old days with film cameras. Right?