Did it REALLY happen?


Not my photo

If you do something and don’t take a photo of the moment, did it really happen?

DD took me kayaking yesterday. But I left my phone in his car, so I have no photographic evidence.

As we mourned the lack of camera I started wondering: why are we so obsessed with snapshotting every moment of our lives and then sharing it on social media?

Robert Simms wrote at The Drum last year: “Hardly any act is free from the all-pervasive camera lens. But candid shots aren’t the goal here. We’re looking for the money shot and we’ll keep snapping until we take it. The moment might be lost, but it hasn’t really happened until it’s been broadcast on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. It’s as if the act of performance and validation through online disclosure is now needed in order to authenticate any experience. What’s the point of going on a lavish holiday if your friends don’t see the photos? Why bother eating at an expensive restaurant if you can’t photograph it? And why work hard at the gym if you can’t show off that sculpted torso online?”

But you probably didn’t take in the last few paragraphs because you were too busy thinking: Alana. Went. Kayaking????

The last time I went kayaking I was 10. I didn’t enjoy it. I am NOT a kayaking person. It is a very un-Alana-like activity.

But I took a deep breath and said: “Sure, I think it’s good for me to try new things.”

There are many reasons I would normally avoid kayaking. I can’t swim. I burn easily in the afternoon sun. I am not very good at paddling. I would rather drink cider in a bar overlooking a lake where people are kayaking.

And the first few minutes were a bit what have I done? But then I started to enjoy myself. Especially when DD suggested I take a rest from paddling and let him do all the hard work.

It meant I could sit back and admire all the houses on the edge of the lake and ponder which one I’d buy if I won the lottery. Love a good property stickybeak. It’s my dream to have a deck with a view one day.

At the halfway mark, DD even convinced me to go swimming. I hate swimming in places where you can’t see the bottom. I always imagine broken glass and oyster shells and … creatures …**

So I insisted on wearing his thongs for the first few minutes, until I stepped off the edge of the sand bank and out of my depth … eeek … did I mentioned I can’t swim?

The thongs floated off and I flailed around squeaking “Help! I can’t touch the bottom!”

After DD “saved” me, he decided I needed to wear my life jacket at all times and I floated around quite happily after that.

It was such a lovely afternoon. But was it a dream? I mean, I haven’t immortalised it on my iPhone and I don’t have any “likes” on Instagram to validate its awesomeness …

Song of the day: Blondie “The tide is high”

** DD thought my obsession with hidden sharp things was a little bizarro … like many things about it … but then he had to offer first-aid advice back on shore after a boy cut his foot quite badly on SOMETHING and I was all like … ha, you see!


3 thoughts on “Did it REALLY happen?

  1. That comment is like “if a tree fell in the woods, would anyone hear it?”.

    Good for you for having a crack though! I hate kayaking because, like riding a cruiser-style motorbike, with my legs stretched forward, it wrecks my lower back.

    I agree with you about sharp things under the water…growing up around Lake Macquarie, we quickly learned about the risks of sharp objects like oyster and mussel shells, or broken glass etc.

  2. No photos? It didn’t happen! It’s a modern form of cruelty. I saw a shark off Palm Beach on Australia day – quite a way out in huge swell while sailing past – but I’m sure I saw a shark. No one has believed a word of it because I didn’t get a photo…

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