This summer I spent time in New York and Pennsylvania for the first family vacation in years. We saw so many sights and experienced places we’ve never been before. Halfway through the trip I realized something so important: I was living behind my camera. I was caring way too much about how many pictures I was taking and how excited I was to share them on social media. I even missed out on games of the Little League World Series that my dad was umpiring because I was too focused on taking pictures of my food or selfies with my sister. Eventually I had to set my phone aside so that I could actually experience everything that was happening. By doing this, I had the opportunity to live in the moment and gain the best memories of laughing so hard that I cried with my siblings, or watching my parents reconnect and replenish their relationship. All of this came from simply putting down the camera and enjoying these precious times together.
We live in a time when capturing the moment is more important than living in it. We constantly plan out cute pictures to take everywhere we go and always have our phones ready for something important to happen. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that it is important to document our lives with pictures and videos. It really is special to look back at them and recall special memories as we get older. On the other hand, there is a time and a place for it. I strongly believe that we should find a balance of documenting our times and living in the moment. I have been to too many events that are encompassed by taking so many pictures that I missed out on the actual experience. Far too many people are watching concerts from behind their phone screens while they video the performance. We get so excited to post a new video on our Snapchat story and don’t even realize the time that passes by. We focus on picture filters and how many likes we’ll get on the picture instead of living in the moment.
Spending too much time hiding behind a lens can really do some damage. You miss out on important adventures or even get distracted from listening to someone speak to you. There is short term satisfaction you get from those likes on your picture compared to the long term memories you could have gotten from these experiences.
You are not your pictures.
Your self-worth doesn’t come from the amount of likes you receive on your picture, or the amount of videos on your camera roll. It’s easy to battle with caring too much about the outcome of the photo instead of the outcome of the actual memory.
Lose yourself in the moment and just be free. Put your camera down for a few minutes to get the full experience. Life is too short to waste it behind our camera lens, we must enjoy this precious time while we can. Don’t focus on capturing the moment, focus on living in the moment.