Have you ever sat down around the dinner table with your parents, aunts, older cousins and grandparents? We bet there would be lots of stories going around. Our parents and grandparents love to talk about their past. Sharing stories and wonderful memories from their youthful days is a way of passing down riches to the next generation.
With only with their fondest memories, the older generation seems to have a better grasp of what it means to really live in the moment. Traditions and stories are passed from generation to generation using only words and reliving wonderful moments from the past.
Perhaps the greatest irony we are facing today is that the older generation, without their smartphones and even cameras, are able to remember more than the youth of today. With the rise of social media, people have developed an obsession about snapping a picture of just about everything.
From big events like weddings, travels and children’s birthdays down to the somewhat insignificant walks to the park, newest accessories, every meal eaten or among a thousand selfies, millennials just have to take a picture of every event.
These days, it’s hard to watch a concert or even appreciate an amazing masterpiece in a museum without being interrupted by someone holding an iPhone, trying to take a picture. Capturing one’s food in a restaurant has become the new prayer before meals. Every parent has probably taken every single millisecond of their child’s life and posted them on Facebook or Instagram.
While there’s no denying how technology has helped us capture every moment in life, maybe there are some moments that just need to be lived rather than captured on camera. In fact, a study at Fairfield University in Connecticut headed by Dr. Linda Henkel, has shown that taking too many photos may prevent you from forming detailed memories.
Even though the purpose of taking a photo is to capture the exact moment, we may actually miss what’s happening right under our noses. Within camera’s easy reach, we mindlessly take a photo without even realizing the full event happening. And to add to this, we’ll spend another 10-20 seconds staring at our screens making sure we got the angle right, that every person in the photo is smiling (or pouting), cropping the photo and scrolling through what filters we can add to make the live image we just took look better on other people’s screens!
Furthermore, the same study showed that people have better memories of moments they spent more time doing than those they just took pictures of. It is a truly remarkable study that understands the repercussions of being too focused on just taking photos and uploading them on social media.
To live our life to the full, we must learn to keep our phones in our pockets and really savour the moment. Instead of snapping a photo of your yummy salad, why don’t you try to smell it, to taste every bite, to feel every texture in your mouth? Why don’t you share this experience with the one sitting in front of you? I know this sounds a bit airy-fairy, but I’m trying to make a point!
When you’re watching a concert, maybe you can keep your phones off and just sing out loud to the songs. Join the mosh pit, wave your hands in the air and again, share it with the person standing next to you.
The next time you’re staring at the sky and you are tempted to take a hundred photos to upload, keep in mind that there is no filter that’s better than nature’s sunrise and sunset. Whenever you play with your kids, remember that they grow up so fast and that every moment counts. Knowing that, wouldn’t you want to spend every moment looking them in the eye, appreciating them grown rather than through a camera lens?
Every experience is unique which is why we have the urge to take a picture of each one. While photographs are important for keepsakes, perhaps some moments are better off being experienced than shot.
They say a man’s life can be summed up by all his experiences. That being said, what are the moments in your life that you can recall in detail, without looking at photographs? We hardly notice it but it seems that the one thing that you use to capture the moment is actually making you miss a significant moment. How many memories can you log on Memfy without attaching a photograph?
Finally, we want to say that we absolutely love photographs and keeping memories and creative ways to make memories live forever. However, we must remember to experience the moment first before even thinking of grabbing that smartphone and taking a snapshot. You only have one life and making memories and passing them to the next generation is what matters the most. Converse. Laugh. Touch. Breathe. Experience. Live.
events, family, generations, instagram, memories, nostalgia, photo, pictures, smartphones, social media,