I went to a concert 2 weeks ago (Of Monsters and Men, The Joy Formidable, and Elle King, if you must know) and we sat near a woman who was instagramming the entire show. When she wasn’t posting photos of the bands playing, she was posting photos of herself. After about the 6th or 7th time, I wondered if she was even watching the concert at all.
Because social media has become such a big part of our culture, there are times when people are too busy making sure they record the moment to show everyone else that they aren’t actually living in it. When I went to Europe for 10 days, I barely had any internet and walked around as best I could, my brain struggling to record everything I was seeing at Versailles, Brussels, and more. For those 10 days, I was happy to take a break from using the internet and social media as much as I usually do. It allowed me to actually live in the moment.
I love Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and all the rest as much as everyone else, but when you are so busy pulling out your smartphone to take a photo to share on Instagram, you may miss one of the greatest experiences of your life. The sense of wonder is slowly slipping away from us as our heads are buried in our iPads, iPhones, Kindles, and whatever else has a glowing screen.
It is human nature to want to share great experiences with others, but don’t let that distract you from living your life. If you are at Machu Picchu with no phone service, let that be OK. Your friend’s photos of her new car can wait.
This goes beyond visual experiences. What about when the light is too low in that new Italian restaurant for you to take a photo of your lasagna with handmade noodles? Why are you taking a photo of your food anyway? Dig In!
It is important to find a balance. My Instagram may have a few photos of oatmeal or places I’ve been, but they were never taken or uploaded at a time where it may have interrupted what I was doing or experiencing. While I do find your photos of your pool interesting, don’t forget to actually swim in the pool yourself before instagramming it.