Just when we thought there were enough screens to think about, set limits around, and evaluate for their positive versus negative attributes…I’m going to add another to the list: cameras.
Granted, I just returned home from New York City where I saw more selfie-sticks in a week than I’ve ever seen before, so my view may be a bit skewed, but, honestly, I’ve been thinking about this for a while now.
This article summarizes our obsession with “capturing the moment” well, and highlights my main concerns. In fact, my children’s school does this same rose ceremony and I am completely grateful that the school enforces a strict no-photos policy for these kinds of events, or else I’m sure we would have had a situation similar to the one described in the article.
The advent of digital cameras, and now iPhone cameras (and selfie sticks, instagram etc.) has made photo taking such a different process than it used to be. In the “olden days,” when cameras used film, we used discretion when taking photos (we didn’t want to use up/waste the film!), and we had to wait for film to be developed to look back on the one or two (versus, literally, hundreds these days) photos we took of each event.
Yes, I want photos of all the cute and important events in my children’s lives, but, no, I don’t want to spend those events behind a camera, missing the true experience. I also don’t want to model for my children that recording (and “sharing“) the event is more important than experiencing the event. I don’t want them to witness or to be a part of the inevitable “review” of the photo that happens just after it is taken, wherein we determine if it is a “good” photo or whether we need to take another one. This whole process serves to switch the focus from the actual present experience to how the present experience will be presented to others (social media, I’m looking at you).
So, more and more, I’m going to remind myself to keep my camera in my bag and to “capture the moment” in my heart.
(The bonus? Less time spent on the overwhelming task of organizing digital photos!)