A bit of a sociology moment here, but lately I’ve been thinking about this more and more and it has really started to concern me.
Do we spend too much time taking photos and recording things rather than living in the moment?
I’m definitely guilty of this myself even though I try not to. Yesterday when I was at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour I found myself framing perfect photographs of the sets and props but not actually looking at them with my eyes. I didn’t take in all of that detail that was put into those objects; all I cared about was getting a good photo. I wasn’t making a memory; I was just recording it to prove I’d been there.
I notice this mostly when I go to gigs, if you look into the crowd I’d say 90% of them are holding up their phone or camera recording the band. This completely baffles me, maybe because I’m one of those people that likes to push to the front and really take in the atmosphere, but how can you fully enjoy the experience if you’re holding up your phone the whole time?
Is it because of social media?
Probably, before social media photographs were personal and only really shared with close friends and family. Now, everything that we do is shared and we have to have the photos to prove it. You may well have the photos but do you have the memories to go with them? Can you remember the small details, the smells, the sounds, the emotions when you look at them? Are you living your life without actually living it – just recording the things you do to post them online and ultimately in order to gain more likes, followers, hits etc. That’s not what it’s all about is it? When we’re old and remembering our lives we’re not going to remember the times we took a great picture of Harry Potter’s bed are we? And we’re certainly not going to remember how many likes it got on Instagram.
So this is me, vowing to actually start experiencing the things I do rather than looking at them through a ‘tiny, glowing screen’. I’m going to switch off my phone and actually use my senses to capture the atmosphere around me. One or two photos to help remember the day is ok but that’s all; nobody needs 300 photos of the back of someone’s head in a dark, dingy gig venue even if you can see your favourite rockstar’s left arm in the background.
Let’s start living in the moment.