I love this thought from Russ Ramsey… (please read carefully and slowly – it's really good) –
In our amazing era of digital immediacy, I can tell the world where I
am and what I’m doing while I’m doing it. I can present myself as a busy
man living a rich and full life. I can take pictures of my meals, log
my locations, snap photos of the people I’m with, and weigh in on what’s
happening around the globe 140 characters at a time. But none of these
things mean I’ve been paying attention.
The degree to which we are able to be present in the moment,
psychologists say, is one of the chief indicators of mental health and
security in our personal identity. I can buy that. And I would submit
that this takes a lot of courage.
I have been at concerts or at events where someone was "watching" the concert through their phone – because they wanted to get it on video so they could "post it." It seems to me, they may as well have stayed home.
When on vacation or visiting Niagara Falls – I've been asked to take photos for families and they were yelling at their kids to do this or that ("stop doing that" "Smile" "leave your brother alone"). It was tense! I was scared and they weren't yelling at me. Then all of a sudden everyone is supposed to smile. And I think "That's not a real photo! If you want the real photo, let me take it of you, mom, yelling at your kids and dad being disinterested posting thoughts on Twitter or answering company email."
I've done this. I've been guilty of wanting to get a photo of an experience for a photo album or for my blog that I end up spending more time letting people know where I am, or documenting it for a scrapbook, or replying to work emails that I'm not engaged with the people I am there with, and whenever we do that – we lose out on the moment itself.