I remember starting in middle school taking a lot of pictures. a LOT of pictures. A down right annoying amount. I liked capturing 'moments," which often would end up with random shots of people and scenery. My friends would often ask why I didn't take more posed photos. I took plenty. I just wanted to capture the moment. I think I often spent more time capturing the moment then living it. I even remember an outing in college when a friend of mine, Geoff, said "Enough with the pictures. Just bowl with us."
Somewhere along the line I slowly stopped taking picture. I have my theories as to why, but that's another story. I've actually gotten to a point where I find my self say ing "oops, it would've been nice to have captured that memory." But those are rare.
However, as I've become less obsessed with taking photos, it seems our culture has become increasingly more. We take photos of the food we're eating on our dates and upload it to Instagram. We post pictures of the person we spent a month arranging to have coffee with to let the world know "Hanging out with this guy right now." As my bride and I sat at the Billy Joel concert last weekend, I noticed so many people, rather then soaking in the music, snapping photos and opening apps, trying to come up with clever captions and hashtags, and posting. Facebook. Twitter. Vine. Instagram. I even had people asking for it on the post I made before we left. I'm not saying it's bad to take photos. I did take a couple. But it struck me how obsessed we are with letting other people know the good times we are having rather then maximizing them. Personally, I was satisfied with having my arm around my bride and watching one the greatest musicians I never thought I'd get to hear live.(only because my wife is thoughtful, generous, and better then I deserve).
There is, however, something I've found that I really like: the hashtag #latergram. The concept is that you're posting photos that you took earlier at a now later time. I think this is brilliant, and it is my challenge to you. Especially to spouses out there. Whether you are spending time with friends or having a special date night with your wife, ignore the urge to share. If you want to take photos, go for it. But then put the phone back in your pocket. Don't steal time or moments with those in your presence to validate it or share it with those on the internet. Live in your moment. You spent a month arranging coffee with a good friend because your lives are busy. Let that be your focus. Don't lose a second of that time to Social Media. People can know later that you had coffee. I promise. They can even know later that it was with your really awesome friend. On your dates... let your spouse be your focus. Don't let technology rob you of or cause a break in the intimacy, even for a second.
My goal for 2014, whether Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, is that any moments I share are a #latergrams. If it breaks into the moment I'm sharing, then I don't want to do it. I don't want to rob my wife, kids, or friends of my attention. Sorry internets, you just don't deserve me more than them. You can find out about it later. Cause no number of likes or comments can validate that fact my life is absolutely brilliant more than actually maximizing my time with those I love. I look around and see its true, and who cares if anyone else knows it but me.