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Secondhand Fun

by Laurie Lechlitner

Published: Friday, October 16, 2020

Classroom of Life

"Did you enjoy your trip to the Grand Canyon?" I asked my friend Kim.

"Didn't you see my pictures on Facebook?"

"Yes, they were breathtaking."

"I also posted a video of our donkey ride."

"I remember the lady who got a nosebleed from the high altitude."

"Yeah, wasn't that a cool post? She bled like crazy."

"Those were great photos of the gift shop you posted."

"Can you believe the prices? I paid $2.50 for a bottled water."

"That seafood looked pretty good at that restaurant. Was that right beside the canyon?"

"No, that was about 40 miles away."

"Is that where you stayed, at Motel 8?"

"Yeah, did you see the color scheme in the room we occupied? It was really gaudy. That's why I posted it. I thought my friends would get a laugh. But the rates were great. Of course, it was a ways from the canyon."

"What did you like best about the trip?"

Kim paused for the longest time. Then she got out her cell phone. "I'll have to review the pictures again. I kinda forget all the details."

We took Ken, Barbie and their children to the pumpkin farm and corn maze. Every few minutes, Barbie was taking one of her children's picture with her phone.

"What do you think?" she asked Ken as she showed him a shot of the three kids sitting around a huge pumpkin.

"It's kind of blurry," he remarked.

"Yes, but they'll get the main gist."

"Who'll get the main gist?" I asked as we made our way to the corn maze.

"My friends on Facebook," she said.

Since Barbie tagged me in her post, I was quickly alerted in my email. I perused her picture and agreed with Ken. The photo on Facebook was very blurry.

Ken's picture was much better when we got to Dairy Queen. He even managed to capture the cherry on top of his hot fudge sundae.

"It looks good enough to eat," I remarked on Facebook. Of course, if I'd been paying attention, I could've seen it better from my booth in the restaurant. After all, I was sitting right across from him.

My husband Brian didn't have near as interesting a picture to post, since he was only drinking coffee from a plastic foam cup. However, he was able to tell the world that we were spending time with Ken, Barbie and the kids that evening.

Me, I'm more of a private person. I don't post many pictures. However, I feel completely cut off when I don't know what the world's doing at any given minute.

"Jeff and Mindy are in Chicago," I whispered to Brian as we sat in the movie theater with our bucket of popcorn.

"You're suppose to turn your cell phone off during the show," Brian reminded me.

"These are only the previews," I countered, realizing I had a full 10 minutes to get caught up on the latest news.

I've noticed that we no longer experience life firsthand. Whether we're taking a vacation, or simply spending an evening with friends, we're much too busy photographing the event to enjoy ourselves.

The clincher came when I was photographing a wedding. Instead of experiencing the memorable, once-in-a-lifetime event, the bride was also taking pictures, with her cell phone.

"I'm the wedding photographer," I reminded her. "You don't need to take your own shots."

With a sheepish grin, she told me, "I'm posting these on Facebook." And, she was!

Laurie Lechlitner can be contacted by email at

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