Last night my mind was racing. Before heading to bed, I read this article called “Is smartphone photography killing our memories and experiences“. It talked about how a BBC report explored whether the smartphone photography movement is doing more harm than good. Afterwards, I couldn’t shake this nagging feeling that with the advent of so much technology … we are slowly losing ourselves in our own immersions and distractions and not fully experiencing the world around us. Will we look back ten years from now and wonder how we spent our time? Were we so distracted by our devices that we missed seeing our children grow up? making memories with them? seeing our favorite friends fall in love?
As photographers, we especially see this at weddings where so many people become more distracted with documenting the moment on their phone than they are focused on truly enjoying the experience they could be having with the bride and groom. As they struggle to get to the front to get ‘their shot’ – they are missing the wedding experience entirely. And it goes beyond weddings, and into ordinary life. Go to a concert, and see how many people are jumping up and down with the band, or how many are trying to remain steady so they can video the whole experience on their cell phone. Walk into a grocery store, and watch how many children are head-down staring into a smartphone or tablet. Instead of seeing colors and shapes, or experiencing the world around them through touch, they are lost in a virtual reality. Parents and children might sit together, but they’re all lost in their own devices. Instead of creating and experiencing memories together in real life, we are losing that time to digital memories that could be completely wiped out with a button click. How many people would have a meltdown if Facebook went completely offline tomorrow? if your phone was completely erased? if your computer crashed with every photo you’ve ever taken? Would all of your memories be erased with such an event?
I’ve heard it said that sometimes the best memories don’t need to be documented, but need to just remain as a memory in your mind. Some of my favorite memories from childhood were never photographed … including Sunday afternoon drives in the countryside, exploring caves with my parents, going four wheeling with my dad’s Jeep. Please don’t take this to mean that I’m advocating never taking photographs .. I think photos are enormously important, but it’s this obsession with devices that our culture is shifting to, and the mindset that everything that is done in life needs to be documented and uploaded to a social network for peer approval that is troubling.
The video report below is worth watching … take a few moments and see how, as a culture we may be losing all of the memories of what is happening around us – even though we’ve well documented it on Instagram or other social networks …
Are you making memories with your loved ones? Are you creating beautiful, real-life connections or just looking for digital affirmation in life? This next video I want to share is poignant, but drives the point home that our culture is not just changing in the way that we interact with people, but it’s changing to the point where we are not interacting with people outside of a digital and virtual world.
Last Friday we had a beautiful, (distraction free!) session with Amy & Billy … this sweet couple is getting married in October at the Page Walker House and the love they have for each other is so wonderful to see :) Here’s a little peek from our time together, with more to come soon!
Have a wonderful Monday, and go talk to someone (in person!) you know in real life today … make some memories together ~ Brent