“To the woman who made me who I am today,” she types into the caption after putting a 3-year-old wedding photo through every editing app she has on her shattered iPhone, “Happy Mother’s Day!” She then litters it with several emojis and her mom’s first name signaling that they have a “chill” relationship. This process is repeated shortly thereafter for Father’s Day.
And then for her best friend’s birthday.
And then for her high school best friend’s birthday (even though they haven’t talked in months).
And then for her little’s birthday.
And then for a random Throwback Thursday because she hasn’t gotten a lot of likes lately.
It’s a crime we’ve witnessed time and time again. A crime that, while innocent, plagues us week after week and month after month. Professional wedding photos have become more popular and overused than the selfie. More rampant than Snapchat’s dog filter. More passé than the bikini shot where the poster of the photo looks intentionally skinnier than everyone else in the photo. But it’s time. It’s time we put a stop on using wedding photos after the grace period post-wedding has passed.
How long should that time period be? I’m not sure. But when you’re posting a random watermarked photo for your bestie’s 32nd birthday two years after you married the love of your life, I think we can both agree that things are getting a little out of hand.
Like, we get it, Caroline. You got married. But you can’t let that one single day define the rest of your life (or, more importantly, your Instagram feed). We all allowed you to change your Facebook and cover photos to that shot of you and your husband smiling down the aisle seconds after your “you may kiss the bride moment.” And that same profile photo was put through some sort of filter supporting an international tragedy or march, only to be changed back to the original form of the photo days later while you hoped no one noticed.
We all reluctantly double-tapped when you re-posted a similar photo on your two month anniversary with the caption, “Can’t believe it’s already been two months with this one!” followed by several champagne bottle emojis. And yes, we again liked that photo on your one-year wedding anniversary when this charade should have officially come to an end.
I know, I know, there are only so many times in your life when you get a batch of 1,500 professionally taken photos that are exclusively of you and yours. You paid some aging hipster trying to fund his art career way too much, and you earned your right to use these photos. But logistically speaking, there has to be an endpoint on when this is allowed and when this just becomes obnoxious.
Day in and day out, I get an alert to my phone that I think is a text message but is actually just telling me that my phone is completely zapped of all its memory. At most, I can save about 100 photos on my camera roll before I have to decide whether they need to be deleted or if I need to get rid of those podcasts I’ve been meaning to listen to for the past four months. I can’t be the only person getting these alerts, so I have to imagine that the logistics behind storing and finding these photos at will takes more effort than just taking a photo with a selfie stick at the end of a lackluster hike in Colorado.
Do you have a Dropbox folder you keep them in? Do you screenshot a secret wedding album that you keep on Facebook? Do you use your custom login that the aforementioned aging hipster gave you for his Squarespace site that he set up for his side hustle? How do you have constant access to these photos at your fingertips just to toss up for any birthday, holiday, or random law school graduation that comes along?
Posting a photo from your own wedding to celebrate someone else’s achievement or accomplishment is more self-serving than posting a photo of yourself from someone else’s wedding that says, “Celebrating the new Mr. and Mrs. Jones! #jonesingforthatring” Yes, we’re all a little (okay, a lot) insufferable on social media, but posting essentially the exact same photo over and over again for 18 to 24 months after your ceremony treads in some ridiculous waters.
Yes, it’s worse than FaceTune. Of course, it’s more expected than taking a photo in front of that one wall in Nashville or the damn Bean in Chicago. And no, you shouldn’t just be tossing out candids where you’re laughing during hair and makeup because your Maid of Honor just got engaged.
Be better. Be original. Be the change you wish to see in the world rather than just using “be the change you wish to see in the world” for the random yoga picture you post after taking a few classes. .