Are you present in your own life? As busy people, most of us rush and multitask our way through the day. We worry about things that happened in the past and look toward what we have going on in the future, and many times we forget about living in the present. Tips on how to live in the present are everywhere.
After a recent family dinner, I wonder what effect social media has on our ability to be present. Does immediately documenting an experience using social media lessen the experience and cheapen the memory?
Does it diminish our ability to truly connect with the experience enough to form a meaningful memory? The kind of memory you can you can smell, taste, touch, and feel with your eyes closed for years to come?
A few weeks ago, my family dined at a great Mexican restaurant. The whole day my daughter was excited for the made-at-the-table guacamole. Once that bowl was placed on the table, however, she shooed away our chip-holding hands in order to take a picture. She arranged the display, set up the shot, took a few pics, did some editing, and, of course, applied just the right filter before uploading it to Instagram. When she finally grabbed a chip, half of the guacamole was gone (don’t judge).
Her first dip into the half-empty bowl made me a little sad. The guacamole experience was something she had been looking forward to, yet she purposely delayed her gratification, probably without realizing it. She also delayed the family’s gratification because sharing the guacamole adds to the joy of our dining experience.
It seems to me that the device is a barrier between us and the experience and picking up the device is becoming an automatic reaction to any situation. Yes, we are trying to preserve it but are we able to immerse ourselves in the experience to the same extent we would have if we didn’t have our device?
Will our children’s memories be reduced to a series of filtered Instagram photos and 140 character tweets?
What do you think?