Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lifestyle | The #RealTalk of Food

Countless images, swirling and rotating through from top to bottom on our phones, tablets and laptops. We view, review, judge, discuss and eventually swipe our thumb downwards to the next one, or do the ever anticipated double click, the sought after "Like".

This occurs for the variety of images on various topics that we see daily with these handy devices. For this post, I wanted to talk about Photos of Food, specifically starting with the lost practice of Dinner time, what it meant and what it means now. Also, I wanted to share Social Night Rules and Etiquette tips to try the next time you are out and finally Instagram content of Images and what we should truthfully post.

What Dinner used to be about...
Dinner was a lovely time when family or friends got together around a dinner table and guess what actually TALKED to one another while enjoying a meal. Not a fancy meal, not a 5-Star Meal, not a picturesque meal but a regular meal. On occasion it would be fancy, but for the most part, it was about eating together no matter what was on the menu.

I remember those days so well as being my fondest memories with family. Sitting at our house or a relatives house, we would rush to the dinner table along with the rest of the cousins. We would be anticipating the food, the food accidents or the potential food fight, the funny food faces or giggle at the one cousin who never ate anything and got scolded for it.

At home, dinner time was the time of day where we would get together and sit and talk about our day, the good the bad and the ugly.

Now, it isn't quite the same. It's interesting and sometimes sad to see that there are a lot of people who have no recollection of this, or are too busy with their devices to have these kind of memories. I fondly look back to those times with others enjoying a meal, and I wonder will kids in the present, say years from now, "Oh I remember where I was when I hit that level in Candy Crush!" Seriously? #JustSaying! It's definitely a different time, but at what point did we become so connected electronically that we disconnected in person?

Social Night Rules
Now I am guilty also, if I am out with friends or family, I will tend to grab my phone and start taking photos like no tomorrow of my meal. To be truthful, I enjoy sharing photos but at the expense of the moment with friends or family is not cool and when I was called out on it, I realized I need to be mindful.  So here are some rules I use and what you can try to adopt when out with friends or loved ones.

1. Never ever take a photo of a meal, if a loved one has asked you for your undivided attention. Nothing can be more annoying then having someone fiddle with their "Filters" because they must post that pic right away, while you are waiting to continue your heartbreak or revealing a deep situation during dinner.

2. Decide if you want it to be a Phone Free day, as in, put in in your bag, pocket or away. And learn to be in the moment. Learn to laugh at what just happened vs. what was seen on your phone. It can be a thrilling experience to enjoy it live than to be bogged down taking photos the entire time. Especially if you are not a tourist.

3. If you cannot live without documenting aspects of your life as is the case with most of us now, then be mindful of the times you are taking the photos. Decide to do it at the start of the night, once when the meal comes out and then a night cap pic. That to me would be the best of both worlds, but you can pick and make it work for you. It's simple and can help you be more present.

Instagram Posts - So why does it have to be gourmet or 5-star?
Now with these cool Social media sites and apps, anyone can take a regular picture and evolve it into a work of art or Photography. But lately, all I tend to see is pics of 5 star like foods or meals? Why can't there be a gorgeous shot of good ole Kraft Dinner and hot dogs, or Indian Dal & Roti, which was a staple meal once a week at my house. Let's post what's true in addition to the glamorous food we get to eat. I think if we are more truthful to what we post, the more enjoyable it will be when looking back at them.

As I said, it's habits we have all picked up from this social media world we live in and we have to stop for  a second and perhaps take some steps back. Enjoy Dinner again without having to whip out the camera, develop proper social media etiquette and be real when it comes to what we post. On my instagram, my pics of meals are a mix of fast food or home based food pics that are authentic and organic to me, and guess what, it works for me. Because it's my #RealTalk of Food!

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