This era of human history is all about “the screen.” We love our smartphones, tablets, touch screen watches and laptops, and we love to share every moment of our lives through these devices and the wonderfully addictive apps that come along with them. And that’s fine. We’re all guilty of it. But it poses a serious question.
Are we so wrapped up in sharing our lives via technology that we forget to actually enjoy living it? Have we become obsessed with watching life through screens?
Let me start from the beginning. Earlier this summer, I was attending a (SUPER FREAKING AWESOME) Kid Rock concert featuring Foreigner at an outdoor amphitheater. 99 percent of the time, concertgoers who buy lawn seats (i.e. poor kids like me) never get up close and personal with the performers. But that night, the lead singer of Foreigner rushed out to the front of the lawn to perform one of the band’s most popular songs.
Cue the mass surge of people crowding forward to get as close as possible. And every single person (I mean this literally) was holding up a cellphone to grab a picture or video. It was that exact moment my best friend leaned over to me and said “What ever happened to people wanting to get as close as possible because it was exciting, not because it was the best camera angle?”
And she was totally right. Here we all were, getting this amazing opportunity to experience a rock concert the way it should be experienced, and none of us were watching it happen. We were focused on tiny screens instead of the full-color, high quality, real life moment happening right in front of us. And all we got to show for it was a fuzzy picture with half of someone’s head in the frame.
Somehow, our grandparents, parents and even us ‘90s kids got along without technology and social media just fine. We made memories. We told stories. We didn’t need to Snapchat a selfie or Instagram our brunch. We just made goofy faces at our friends and ate the damn pancakes and enjoyed every moment of it.
My grandma can tell a story from 1946 and remember vivid details, but I can’t remember much beyond the cellphone moment from that concert two months ago. And that makes me sad, disappointed and a little bit disheartened. I don’t want to waste what precious time I have in this life watching moments both big and small through the screen of my iPhone. I want to be able to tell my life story like my grandma does. No grainy picture of 4th of July fireworks is worth sacrificing that.