How often do we take the time to soak up the moment? Take the time to enjoy our surroundings and be present? I fear that the more involved with technology we get the less involved with life we are. This post is prompted by a conversation I had with a bunch of bright young things last night regarding the advances in technology experienced from my age (29) and theirs (23), those 6 years had significant impact on how our perception of being ‘present’ has manifested.
Now I am by no means a cranky old lady who wishes nothing ever changes and talks about the ‘good old days’, I embrace technology and love having the internet in my pocket and the ability to take better photos with my phone than with my digital camera. One thing I do get concerned with is how many experiences and moments we miss out on by having a phone in front of our face.
These bright young things I refer to live for technology and social media. These guys started the ‘pics or it didn’t happen’ catchphrase. They believed that there was little point to attending a festival or party if they couldn’t Instagram the moments within. Candid shots are just a little more posed as cameras and recording devices are available to all, all the time.
Take a look at these 2 images from the most recent Papal announcements in St Peters Square in Rome – Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 and Pope Francis in 2013. This was featured on NBC’s Instagram page today.
The obsession with capturing every moment results in living life through a 4.5”x2.5” screen. I remember the first wedding I ever attended – the bride was stunning, the groom had tears in his eyes and the attendees were looking on with fondness and smiles. There may have been the occasional person with a camera snapping photos (and winding it on) but most of the time people were watching, being present and enjoying the moment. Now – if a bride turns to the wedding guests to share a moment with her friends and family she is likely to be looking into a field of rectangles blocking eye contact with the loved ones the couple chose to share their most special day with.
If I ever get married (don’t worry kittens, it’s not on my agenda anytime soon!) I have already decided I will have an ‘Off-Line’ wedding. No guest will be allowed to take photos during the ceremony – camera or phone. They will all hopefully be far too busy enjoying the occasion and savouring the experience. Let’s be honest – the photo a guest takes is unlikely to be better than one’s taken by the professional photographer the Bride and Groom spend a decent amount of $$ on. There will no doubt be hundreds of photos uploaded (and approved) by the couple after the wedding to Facebook or other social media so if as a guest, you desperately want your own memory of that moment – just get one from there. These amateur photos are a waste of your time and memories. Photos don’t create memories, being there actually does.
Don’t get me wrong, I know some people have decent SLR cameras and do take some fantastic extra shots at weddings and events, that’s not what I’m talking about. And once the ceremony is over and the real fun begins, I don’t have a problem with everyone whipping their cameras out and taking as many photos as they want. I’m not so unrealistic that I don’t know that people do like to capture memories through this media. Heck, one of my ’30 before 30’ challenges is to take a photo a day so I can capture the moments of my 30th year.
I do think we need to embrace experiences and concentrate on these rather than worrying about taking photos or which filter to Instagram. The absolute worst is when a couple has barely said ‘I do’ and the guests are posting and tagging poor quality photos on Facebook. Put the technology down and spend time being present rather than just proving to the world you were there. I am loathe to imagine when Google glasses become available and every moment can be recorded and shared instantly and can’t help but wonder if we are headed in the right direction with this type of technology.
What are your thoughts on this?
Much Love – D x