Friday, March 5, 2021

Teacher Tom: Creating Pictograms for Instagram

Teacher Tom: Creating Pictograms for Instagram
Creating Pictograms for Instagram

The dog had walked me to Seattle Center and there at the base of the Space Needle a pair of teenaged girls were posing while a friend framed the shots. They pressed their cheeks together, lips forming matching buds. Their bodies assumed mirrored poses, with thrust hips and bent knees. Picture taken, they straightened up, spoke a few earnest words to one another, then on the count of three leapt into the air, throwing their hands over their heads like cheerleaders do, their knees bent to create the illusion of height.

I realized I'd seen those poses before on the social media pages of the young women in my life. 

I don't post a lot of "selfies," in fact I've never posted a selfie. They strike me as self-indulgent or show-offy or something, but as the father of a daughter who was a teen not too long ago I realize that this ritual has become a kind of necessity, just as posting a photo of one's restaurant meal or the obligatory shot of your holiday paradise from between outstretched legs and bare feet. They've always struck me as cliches. Couldn't they at least use their imaginations, come up with something new? 

As I passed on, the girls were positioning themselves to create the illusion that they were pricking their fingers on the top of the Space Needle, the classic tourist pose. Not far away, I came upon more young women similarly posing. I imagined their photos on my Instagram feed above and below those of the previous posers.

I've been thinking a lot lately about pictograms, ideograms, CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: Creating Pictograms for Instagram