Nowadays, phones are everywhere. Actually, phones are everything: calendar, camera, notepad, maps etc.
It’s becoming more & more difficult to live without our phones. We bring them everywhere we go & get desperate if the battery goes down too fast.
Addiction? Who said addiction 😂? Yes, I think we are addicted.
Another consequence of us having one eye on our phone all the time is that we aren’t “here & now” anymore.
When we cross this with the fact that taking pictures is now SO easy & the influence of social medias, we actually end up with dozens of pictures being taken every day. And they become hundreds during special events.
When it comes to attend such events (unique, intense & emotional moment) like:
- your brother’s wedding ceremony,
- the 1st time your baby will “blow” candles during her 1st birthday party
- your eldest daughter ‘s graduation,
- actually any kind of intense events life offers us & that we want to remember forever.
… we might want to think about really living the moment & not through our phone screen.
A few years ago, I had a very special moment like this with my now-late mother. We went on a hot air ballon flight during sunrise in Cappadocia, Turkey.
A truly unique, intense, magic moment, which I wanted to be able to remember forever.
Guess what. I don’t remember it.
I remember the “before” & the “after” but I don’t remember the “during”. And believe me, I’m deeply sad about this.
How come I end up not remembering this moment?
The answer is simple: because I was taking pictures most of the time. I was so amazed by the spectacular landscape we were flying over during sunrise that I photographed it during almost the whole flight. I wanted to capture this beauty forever & I forgot about living the moment.
I love the pictures I took on that morning but they feel bitter-sweet.
What about the experience I was living & what about the “mother & daughter” experience we were supposed to have? It’s gone forever.
Just by taking pictures or making videos all the time during an event, we’re making our memories of the event loose.
We document our lives with our phones, to make sure we’ll remember our happy moments but it seems to be counterproductive.
We give less attention to an experience when we know that it will be safely stored in our phone.
In many cases, scientists are finding that constant photo taking actually diminishes our ability to recall our experiences, diverts our attention, and takes us out of the moment.
I am the first one to say “Pictures have an endless value, they are part of our visual heritage, they just have to be taken”.
Yes, but maybe by a person who won’t feel bad if she doesn’t remember much of the event itself but only focus on creating everlasting memories for you!
How come this is happening?
Giuliana Mazzoni, professor of Psychology, University of Hull, says that “we use smart phones and new technologies as memory repositories. This is nothing new – humans have always used external devices as an aid when acquiring knowledge and remembering.” (here is her full article)
Writing certainly serves this function. Maybe you’re like me: I keep a notebook on my nightstand to write down all the ideas-things to do that make my brain busy & prevent me from sleeping? Here we are, same logic!
Nowadays, we don’t need to rely on our memory much…. We have smartphones :).
A dentist appointment or a birthday? On our calendar.
A genius idea or the shopping list? On our notes.
Our sister’s cellphone number? On our phonebook.
Which day we had our last periods? On a special “Cycle” app.
Our hand-written letters? WhatsApp messages.
We give our phones the mission to remember. When it comes to strict information, I’m personally fine with it.
When it comes to special & emotional memories, I feel we’re loosing something!
To sum up:
When we are taking pictures during an event, because 100% of our attention is not in the moment,:
- we are distancing ourselves from fuller participation
- we’ll have a poorer recall of the actual event
- we’ll have less memory material to awake when we’ll look at our pictures.
So let’s take the time to fully live the special events of our lives.
Life is here & now.
Let’s put our phones down for a moment & enjoy life, happiness & beauty in the simplest way: with all our senses.
And if you want to make sure images are created during a special event, rely on someone else to capture lovely moment so you’ll be sereine & phone-free!
Have a lovely day ☀️!