From the outset, let me clarify that I am not a Luddite. I am not anti-technology, against picture taking, or opposed to people capturing videos of life on their cell phones. However, I am arguing that some of us may be taking our ability to capture moments to such an extreme that we are missing out on life. We are so busy making memories looking through a screen or lens that we are neglecting to take a step back and experience a greater picture of the world and moments around us in our minds.
For example, my family and I recently attended one of our children’s school performances. The children were singing about making healthy food decisions. You would have thought the children were performing “The Phantom of the Opera” by the amount of cell phones capturing the show. They were literally singing about food. Yet, people were experiencing the performance through a tunnel vision like perception with their cell phone screens.
As I witnessed this cultural trend, it began to overwhelm me with grief. I began to ask various questions to myself: Why have we stopped capturing moments in our memories? Why are we watching life go by with our kids through a technological median? Why don’t we just sit and focus our complete and undivided attention on the sights, sounds, and smells of the situation?
One thing I have learned is that we are always making history. Once a moment passes, it’s over. You can’t get it back. It’s in the past. It’s, after all, history. However, we are so caught up trying to catch these moments on film that we are missing all the intricate details of the bigger picture. Again, I’m not anti-technology. There are certain moments that we should capture in pictures and videos like your baby’s first steps, your wedding, and your walk across the stage to get that diploma.
But, not every moment is to be a captured Kodak moment. We want to experience and see all of the details and experiences in our lives with our full attention. You should want to capture those first steps of your baby, but experience with your child where those steps will take them in life. You should capture that wedding moment, but live to see those vows and your life with your spouse lived out in its fullness. You want to capture that walk across the stage, but never forget all the hard work that it took you to even step foot on the stage.
Sometimes we just need to stop trying to make every moment a Kodak moment, and start making a few more memories. More people spend time sitting around talking about memories than pulling out picture albums or video recordings to discuss past events. Yet, I’m afraid we are missing these precious memories by trying to capture the moment through a small, narrowly focused screen. Sometimes we just need to stop forcing Kodak moments, and start enjoying the making of a memory.
We live in such a busy and sometimes exhausting American society that it might be a good thing to stop on occasion and just “smell the roses.” We should take more opportunities to just make a memory by enjoying the moment with our family and friends. We should be thankful that by God’s grace we are still breathing, and in our gratitude for God’s grace we should pause to take in an special occasion with all our senses not simply through a screen.
From my child’s school performance, I will not forget seeing her big smile as she danced to eating her vegetables and drinking her water. I will not forget watching her face light up as her peers walked in front of her carrying poster size coke cans and noodles. I will not forget that each class was either wearing green, yellow, or red shirts to drive home the point that some foods are good, some process slowly, and others you should avoid. I won’t forget t