Lately I have become more acutely aware of how much time I, and others around me, spend experiencing the world around them through the lens of a phone camera, live tweets and Facebook statuses. Which has led me to wonder how much of the experiences we partake in are for ourselves, and how much is for the display to the world of how great our life is. I found myself thinking:
Are memories as enjoyable if they aren’t shared– physically or digitally– with others?
In an age of Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and more (all platforms I use regularly!), I find myself and my peers seeking the perfect shot, the most beautiful representation of any moment. But are these moments really beautiful, or are we portraying them in a way that makes others seem that way? Are we partaking in activities just to put on display that we have done so? And when we find ourselves in a truly memorable experience, are we really enjoying that sunrise, delicious meal, inspiring speaker, or adorable puppy or are we spending so much time trying to capture their beauty that we miss out on it altogether?
It’s a true concern of mine. Am I living my life, or watching it go by? Am I seeking to impress others to see what I see, or living my life so it’s something I am proud to display? And are those special moments becoming increasingly less special unless we can share them with others? While photography is a love and passion of mine, that doesn’t mean it has to be for all to see.
I have been toying with the idea going on an Instagram vacation. It’s laughable that that’s a challenging decision, to stop my publicly visible life for a month or two in order to really live it. Yet it’s hard in the digital age to not fall into the pit of social media, of displaying your every action– correction, every enjoyable, beautiful, impressive action– to all your closest friends and frienemies that can see your accounts.
As I type this, I decide I will partake in this experiment. Sorry folks, my Instagram is now on hiatus. See ya in 2015– who is with me?
2 thoughts on “Are we living life, or watching it?”
That’s pretty interesting. I find myself taking photos mostly to document things for myself (or my long-distance partner) and not publishing them on social media. That too means I have let a few moments slip by in the name of “capturing it”. Good luck on your hiatus from IG.
Thanks for the provoking thought!
Thanks for your perspective, @Gutierrezable. That’s a good way to do do things… although I would just make sure you aren’t spending more time documenting than enjoying! I find myself often caught up on that.