Switching off the camera and soaking it up

August 22, 2017

These days it’s not rare to spot someone with a DSLR camera or an iPhone, snapping away their food, coffee, anything cute and trying to capture a day spent with friends/family or significant other. A few years back, people would have given you funny looks if you spent 5 whole minutes trying to get a picture instead of digging into your delicious meal but these days, it’s more accepted and more often than not people are too busy clicking their own food to notice.

Thanks to social media, it’s bringing out the photographer in everyone while without it a lot of people wouldn’t have even considered having it as a hobby. I like that though. I like that more and more people are getting artistic in their everyday lives and for others, it’s a way to remind them of a nice day. I am no stranger to this phenomenon and I do all of the above. However, I’ve been recently thinking about how much to capture and how much to soak up.

It’s a constant struggle trying to decide whether I want to document a memory that I can enjoy for the rest of my life or do I want to live in the moment and risk not having any pictures to share? I think the question I should be asking is which one of the two makes me happy? When you spend so much time trying to please others – whether it is friends, family or the social media algorithm, I feel like you forget to spend as much time on yourself. Capturing memories shouldn’t only have to be for others, but it can totally be something personal. I can’t help but wonder if I overshare which can take the joy out of it sometimes.

When we usually tell someone about a recent holiday, we immediately reach for our phones and show them pictures. They appreciate them and then move on to the next topic. How about you describe a place that you didn’t capture, share a little experience you had at that spot and leave the rest to their imagination? I feel it’s more engaging and a bit more personal. I want to have more conversations of that kind which inspires someone to travel to that exact place and see what unique experience it brings them. Conversations that leave people wondering about that place long after the catch-up.

Sometimes I just want to feel the breeze on my face, smell the ocean air, listen to the rustling of leaves, watch the sky go bright pink and not feel guilty about not having captured it. I want to wear a very pretty dress and remember how it made me feel instead of how many likes it got. I want to celebrate the little milestones without everyone’s approval because I am proud of myself and sometimes that is enough. I want to cherish these little things and not have anything else on my mind. I’m sure you’re thinking some people can absolutely do both – I have to agree but personally, I’m looking for a slower approach to life. I will still attempt to capture my life - the important and beautiful bits but also let myself be completely involved with experiences instead of thinking ahead all the time.

Here’s to enjoying more ice creams over letting them melt until I’ve got a perfect shot of them and to being spontaneous and recognizing moments that are meant to be just mine.

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