Our Constant Need To Share Our Lives

Have We Lost Our Ability To Be ‘In The Moment’?

Have you recently attended an ‘unplugged wedding’ where the bride and groom requested everyone put away their phones and just be ‘present’? Or maybe it was a concert where the artist requested you not film, and instead just absorb the moment?

Yesterday, I, along with thousands of other Australians, made my way through the dark to the local Dawn Service, with the sole intention of paying my respects to those who either served or lost their lives fighting for our freedom. For me personally, this hour is not mine, but instead belongs to those who fought. However, as I stood watching whilst wreaths were laid and speeches made, my focus was constantly pulled from the service to a man standing close by loudly snapping photos on his phone. As frustrating as this was (he could at least have put his phone on silent), it lead me to consider all of the reasons he may have had to pull his attention away from the service in order to take photos of the sunrise in the opposite direction – Was it to share on Facebook? Was it to show his friends at a later date? Was it to look back upon to appreciate the beauty of the sunrise?

Regardless of his reasoning, it made me think about all those times something major was happening in either my life or that of a friend that were put on hold in order to capture the moment and share via social media.

As technology continues to evolve, so does the way we share our lives. Snapchat for example, an app which allows users to share 10 second videos and images with their friends has become “one of the largest digital firms“. Instagram, following suit, recently added a new feature which allows people to add videos to their story without disruption to their personal page. Although I have been rather slow in adopting these features, I have recently found myself refusing to put my phone down in case something worth sharing were to happen. As a result, it is no longer possible for me to have a quiet drink with a friend without every element being documented for social media.

From the pouring of wine to a boomerang clip of someone taking a sip, every element seems to recorded and shared.

So have we lost our ability to just be present and enjoy every moment without feeling the need to upload it to social media?

If we go back to the Dawn Service example, I don’t personally feel that a photo needed to be taken in order to truly appreciate the moment and instead feel that it took the moment away from its true purpose. If this man was intending to capture a beautiful sunrise which he could then look back upon, I’m sure he get out of bed at the same time the following morning to do so. If the reason was to upload to social media with a caption about the importance of Anzac Day, he could upload a quote or paragraph later in the day, and just absorb the current moment in its entirety, or, alternatively, wait until the service was over before taking the photo.

Yes I agree that some moments are worth sharing with friends and family however, I truly believe we all need to sit back and assess the reasons for which we are sharing….. Is it really worth including others in your moment or are you just doing it for self justification?

Asking ourselves this each time might just help us appreciate our lives and those in it a little more.

Emma Czislowski