Stop living life through the lens of a camera

Photo by Tyler Meuter

There’s a trail near my home known as the Indian Seats. It’s a trail I often walk with my father. My father and I can have incredibly intense and philosophical discussions about morality or walk in pure silence. Both are comfortable for us because when we’re not passionately defending our beliefs, we let our eyes take in the underrated beauty of the trail in front of us.

Beams of sunlight seep through the thick trees that shroud the skies. The temperature is always little bit cooler than normal and a blanket of silence covers the forest like the fresh morning dew. For me, what makes these hikes more beautiful is being present. I try to be fully aware, take in everything, and enjoy the moment that I am in.

It seems that in this ultra-modern world of ours, this is becoming increasingly more difficult to do. With the world as our stage, we are able to instantaneously engage with a large audience through merely our smart phones with social media apps like Twitter, Snapchat
and Facebook.

The issue here is not that our generation has become too self-obsessed — it’s actually quite the opposite. We want to be able to remember everything share these moments with others. From when we wake up to what we eat to where we’re going, we want to document everything and let the world know about it.

As it is widely recognized that “sharing is caring,” perhaps we, as a society, are sharing just a little too much.

I  often feel that people fail to enjoy what is right in front of them because they’re too busy snapping a picture to remember a moment for later in the future. To fully enjoy life, I think it’s important to stop snapping pictures and sharing once in a while.

I believe it’s important to keep certain experiences to oneself because those experiences belong to the individual. A certain amount of effort goes into doing something or going somewhere. For example, people cook dinner to satisfy their hunger and appetite, not to take a picture of it. So why not be present and enjoy the meal you’ve created for yourself? Why pose for an artificial picture and create fake memories to look back on instead of living in the present — the real?

It seems that we are too worried about creating memories for the moments we fail to live, which is incredibly unfortunate. Constantly thinking about the future and looking back at the past takes away from the quality of life and replaces it with a façade. The only difference between the lifestyle of a photo addict and the Kardashians is that they have professional photographers following them  around, and they’re being paid to live, what seems to be, an unfulfilling life.

So, put that phone away. Don’t Insta the latte art in your coffee cup or update your snapstory to show that you’re hanging with your friends. Just be present.