How capturing the moment foregoes the experience

After calling out nearly everyone, including myself, in a recent post about smart phone addiction, it was convenient timing when I had a conversation with one of my roommates a few days ago about capturing the moment. A cousin of smartphone addiction is smartphone photography. You know what I'm talking about: that feeling of "this-is-so-cool-must-take-picture-now-and-share-with-all-my-friends-ermergerd!"

I'll be the first to admit I like a good instagram pic. I take photos of good-looking dinners I made, sites I visit, and, yes, I even once took a photo at the beach of my feet in the sand.

I like photography, I wish I had a real camera (well, I did for a solid 8 days until it was stolen) and was actually well-trained in the craft. I often go about my day treating my eyes as a frame, thinking about what would make a good photo.

condescending wonka.jpg

I've deduced there are two approaches to Instagrammars and Facebookers:

1.       How can this be turned into artwork?

2.       I NEED to capture the moment and post it to my social networks so I can have this moment forever

More often than not, I'm of the first mindset. At the same time, more often than not, the masses are of the second.

With smartphones providing us the gift of photography anytime, anywhere, it's consequently laid on the curse of forgetting to just enjoy what's in front of you. In the fervor of capturing the moment, we forget to live in the moment. When was the last time you went to a concert and DIDN'T snap a pic of the performer on stage? How many nights at the bar have you had WITHOUT a photo of you and your besties (and if you threw up gang signs that's a whole 'nother story)?

If we prioritize keeping record of the moment, we fail to have a genuine experience of the moment. There's a difference between going to a concert, and a picture of going to a concert. I mean, I swear that last show I was at didn't seem so pixelated at the time. And I'm almost positive the guy on stage didn't turn into The Teriminator with that one red eye. To be honest, was this video really that far off?

Perhaps it's time we dust off the cobwebs and use the camera that exists between our ears just a little bit more.

Author: Rajiv Nathan 

Rajiv Nathan is the co-founder of Idea Lemon with a background in digital and mobile strategy. He is passionately curious, a people-meeter and lives by the motto, "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take."