Back when I was in my high school age years, I was involved in drama.
My family would faithful attend performances over the years, and without fail, my Dad would video tape — yes tape — the entire performance.
It was awesome. Not only could I see how well I did following the performance, I now have those videos to share with my kids.
However, I’ll never forget my last performance.
My Dad asked if he could just sit and enjoy the performance. No camera setup, zooming, recording, switching-out tapes, etc … He asked me if he could experience the performance. It never occurred to me the difference between the two. For the previous three years, there had been a camera screen and lens between him and the performance.
What We Miss
Watch this video and I’ll tell you his take on it:
It begins with a crowd of people cramming into a metro car, just like they do every morning and evening, completely unaware that this ride will be different. A lot of them are plugged in to iPods or other devices, but as the orchestra begins to play, the headphones come off.
And the smiles. Oh, the smiles! The passengers, captured by their iPods or internal thoughts, share an experience together that leads most of them to sheer delight!
But then something else happens. Many of those who turned off their music now exchange it for their video cameras. The device that pumped out music now captures video.
Isn’t that how it works?
When you see something amazing, you record it!
Just like my Dad, however, recording this amazing and incredibly unique experience puts up a barrier. Instead of being a part of the audience and a shared experience, they become a reporter “on the scene.”
Quality vs. Quantity
Challies reminds us that,
“We need to stop believing that everything worth experiencing is worth recording.”
I agree. There’s a balance and it varies from person to person.
Ultimately, it comes down to quality versus quantity. For a quality experience, I can fold my hands into my lap and breath in the entire experience with all of my thoughts and senses and enjoy what’s going on to it’s fullest. Or I can capture what’s going on with my mobile device while only taking-in part of it, but have the ability to experience that partial experience over and over again.
Understanding this dynamic will empower us to make the healthy choice and know when we should be experiencing, recording, or maybe a little bit of both.
What do you think?
[Image via William Hook]