Picture-taking is easy these days. We have cameras on our phones– and everyone has a phone.
All I have to do to open the camera on my Android is shake it side to side in one swift motion and my camera is ready, and all I have to do is tap the screen to snap a picture. It’s easy.
We can capture our memories at any time and in any place, and we can save them forever– but my question for myself, and for you, is this: When are we over-capturing?
I take pictures all the time– of everything, and I like to say that I am addicted, which sounds dramatic unless you know me.
I moved around a lot growing up, living my life divided between two continents. Taking pictures was a way to capture life as it was, in that place, with those people, at that moment, so that when I moved on, I would still have it; that exact time and place frozen in a photograph.
I guess that’s why I got addicted.
If we are taking videos and pictures, are we really “watching” anymore?
I never saw anything wrong with my love for picture taking until recently when my youngest sister begged me to come to look at something she had learned how to do.
“No, don’t take my picture– I want you to watch me do it!” She protested, adding, “And no videos either!”
So I put my phone back in my pocket and watched her in real-time right then, instead of worrying about if the video lighting was okay, or if I had the motion setting on my camera set and then watching the finished video later.
If we are capturing a moment are we really living in it?
The other night I saw the moon and it was so bright and crisp and I reached for my phone.
If you have ever taken a picture of the moon with your phone, you know that it never comes out like that bright, crisp moon that you see. It comes out looking like a pale fuzzy white light with absolutely no depth whatsoever. It could be a blurry picture of a street light for all you can tell.
My love for capturing a moment is okay, the problem is when it’s keeping me from living in the moment.
That night I put my phone aside and I just enjoyed looking at the moon instead of taking yet another bad picture of it.
My sister didn’t want to see the back of my phone, she wanted to see the expression on my face, she wanted me to watch her, something that my phone would keep me from really doing. A phone is pocket-sized but it can still completely divide a moment between two people.
Taking a crappy picture of the moon was stealing the joy of just looking at the moon. That’s a little thing, but it’s still something. Watching and learning and knowing when the picture is not worth it is a skill to be learned.
I think the question we need to ask ourselves is this: Is capturing the memory keeping me from making the memory?
More food for thought? See Compare & Contrast: St. Peter’s Square in 2005 and 2013