How many of us live in the moment? Simply being there doesn’t count. I mean to actually soak in each and every last drop of a special moment that we may never encounter again. I feel it isn’t as easy as that for many of us.
Experiences are strange to me. With a cocktail of ADHD, OCD and Tourettes, I find myself thinking about thinking a lot. When I have have a special experience I try not to zone out, instead I force myself to enjoy the moment. This is hard when a portion of this time is spent telling myself to enjoy it instead of just enjoying it. It is the same (for me personally) when reading. Sometimes I find myself concentrating on a line before realising I wasn’t taking in the words at all.
I was reading this short post by croissantsinbed about the good in social media. That if it wasn’t for social media, this specific author has less reason to look for photo opportunities and be creative in this sense. I agree that social media has sharpened my focus to a degree. It however has also made me focus too much and lose focus on the moment.
My first recollection of this was at a gig in 2013. I planned when exactly I was going to hit record on my iPhone and when to end it. I wanted to show the world a snapshot into this personal experience and let them know how much of a great time I was having. Not long after this I deleted the video. I needed space on my phone (probably for another deleted video) and my singing ruined the audio. The gap in memory is eternal. When I was too busy worrying about focus, landscape mode, the back of peoples heads and the lighting, this void will forever be empty. What was the most special moment of the gig for me was the least memorable. I tried too hard to saviour the moment instead of living in it.
Now, I still have these urges to record such moments. I went to another gig by the same band in 2015 and made sure I experienced it fully without my phone leaving my pocket. It was great, but I also had that voice inside my head saying ‘you could be recording this’ which is one I kept shoving away. The other day, I had the same internal argument with myself whilst travelling home from work. I spent a lot of time taking numerous shots and showing them off on social media. Here are the photographs.
There are pros to every con. On one hand, I had to remind myself to gaze out and see the world for myself, the one I was uploading for everyone else to see from the comfort of their home. On the other, I have a great bunch of photos. I can show you and show my grandchildren in the future where I used to live in my twenties. What was a thought process during this ferry ride was that it probably wont be my last. I will take this ferry ride again and the sun will set again tomorrow. If I didn’t enjoy it fully today, I can another day. Some experiences won’t reoccur and I need to evaluate when I want to live in the moment and when to preserve that moment forever on a memory card. There needs to be a balance to this.
Social media has been a reason why I have so many photos I can look back on. Was it the reason I stepped outside on the ferry, or was it that I wanted to experience nature at its most beautiful? I hope it was the latter, however having to ask this very question shows just how present social media is in my life, and the lives of others.