Being present. Does that include social media?
That was so cool. How many likes did I get?
So I’m at this great hockey game. There was FIVE fights. SIX players were ejected. It was awesome!!! Words cannot describe the suspense and excitement — I wish you could have seen it. Only now, thanks to social media at my fingertips, you can see it in real time.
Social media is great right? Sure. Except is it really? Or is it robbing us of the ability to fully enjoy a moment? I’m convinced the woman in front of me at this same game didn’t see a single second of the game. Her phone was glued to her hand. Taking selfies, finding the perfect filter and the right angle so all could see that she was at a hockey game. Don’t bother watching the fights happening right in front of you -make sure your phone is out and ready so you can show everyone a 10 second story of how awesome your life is right now. Then, what was even more excruciating to sit through, was watching her and her husband be glued to their phones during time outs and breaks between periods shuffling through Facebook like obsessed drug addicts craving and feening for their next fix. I don’t think they spoke to each other the whole game. Snapchat selfie, new story, Facebook live video, check the news feed, scroll, scroll, scroll, and repeat.
Why is she even at the game? Does she even care about her own experience? Or just how others perceive her experience? If she doesn’t get very many likes on FB is she going to consider going to the game a success? Or is she off to find something better that will get more likes or more views? Is she measuring how good of a time she had based on what her followers say about it?
Did she even feel the excitement? Or was she just excited that she just found a social media gold mine waiting to cash in for a bunch of likes? How can she even decipher the two and what she really cares about?
This makes me dig deeper… Why do we take pictures at all? I would guess because you want to remember that specific moment. It is the best when a smell takes you back to a moment and memory and you can relive the feelings, just from a smell! I absolutely think you should take pictures so you can experience the memory again and show grandma pics from your trip. But when you are obsessed with getting the perfect selfie what are you trying to remember? How good you looked at that game? I don’t get it. Side note, I have always LOATHED selfies, and that is a whole other topic that I won’t get into right now.
But for real, what do you use social media for? Measuring your level of self worth? You might not even realize you are doing this, but think about it. When you go to a sporting event, concert, travel anywhere, see something beautiful, or just anything Instagram worthy really, do you immediately reach for your phone like a ninja reflex, or do you just see, feel, hear, taste, and smell first. See the beauty, but then close your eyes and recognize how it makes you feel. (By all means don’t close your eyes at a hockey game — you will miss some great punches.)
If you just want the picture and you’re an aspiring photographer then great. But if you really want to have a real experience, put your phone down and just be there. It shouldn’t matter who else cares if you’re there or not. Be there for yourself. If you think other people should be there with you, then invite them to go with you! Or take a quick picture so you can be reminded of the experience and relive the memory. Sure even put one up on FB, but do it for the right reasons.
I’m not saying it’s bad to want to share a picture, but are you there because you want others to see you are there, or do you really just want to be there, present in that moment and be in that experience.