Is that my Chin?

Selfie. Snapchat.

Even the names are young and confident and smack of immediacy.

There’s nothing immediate about my selfie snapchats as I snap, delete, snap, delete….. and there’s nothing young about them either.

Snapchats work for me if I’m taking a picture of someone else but the concept of a snapchat conversation fills me with horror. The whole notion of it, is to be quick; a volley of faces with witticisms written across the screen. The concept is so snappy, that it doesn’t allow for vanity — and anyway, what twenty one year old really needs to be vain?

My mother in law once told me that she had a technique for ensuring a good photograph of herself —obviously she wouldn’t have said selfie — and it involved opening her eyes wide and blowing out gently. I’ve looked back on her old photographs and slides and I can see her using that crafty trick, although she had great cheek bones anyway. I think someone gave similar advice to Victoria Beckham but she’s forgotten to look as if she’s happy to be alive.

My mother in law also laughed about the time she was trying to master her cellphone and accidentally face timed one of my sons. She was aghast when she looked at the screen and saw her eighty-five year old chin. This is sobering on many levels but I understand exactly. It’s a surprise/shock to get really close to a part of your body that you usually can’t see.

If I send a snap chat to my boys, of say, the dog being cute, (a rare thing these days) then they usually reply with a close up of their faces as they say, ‘oh I miss her,’ or ‘gross,’ depending on the child.

I know the rules. I’m supposed to put the phone up to my face and reply ‘you’ll be home soon..….’ but who wants to see that?

The same problem arises when they proudly flick me their latest culinary creations. I can’t reply with a picture of myself saying ‘yummy dinner, well done,’ because who wants to see me just before they tuck into Caesar Salad?

I’m a child of the twelve photos per roll era and the copiousness of self- images amazes me. We were lucky if we had one photo of ourselves per year and we certainly didn’t take ugly ones just for the hell of it.

No it’s all very aging.

There’s more trouble though, if I want to get an image off the computer or my phone and into my hand, the technology involved is akin to learning a musical instrument or a second language. I swear the sales people at Harvey Norman run for cover when they see me march towards the photo booths. Just one hold-in-your-hand photo — is that too much to ask?

Here’s the thing, as Graeme Norton says, technology has advanced to make our lives easier but I suspect it’s made the majority of our lives harder; we’re just too proud to admit it.

In the meantime, it’s chin up and soldier on.