Are we really capturing the perfect moment?

I was recently covering an elementary school Christmas concert in Burns Lake.

I was recently covering an elementary school Christmas concert in Burns Lake. It was adorable, all the little kids were dressed up, singing and having a great time on stage. But if you looked away from the stage, you would see a sea of proud parents – all holding professional cameras, smart phones and tablets. In fact, I saw one woman filming with her tablet on one hand and shooting an iPhone video with her other hand simultaneously (that is actually better coverage than what I was hoping to do; I don’t think I can compete with that).

I was actually afraid to stand up and move around because I knew I was going to ruin 50 different videos by doing that.

Although the excessive use of technology becomes obvious in children’s Christmas concerts, fortunately you still don’t see a lot of it in small towns. At least when I talk to people here, I don’t have the feeling that they are dividing their attention between me and their Facebook feed.

But are we using technology as a tool for our well being, or are we getting addicted to it? Is technology helping us create long-lasting relationships? Is it helping us enjoy the present moment with the ones we love? Or is it distracting us from what’s right in front of us?

The latter seems to be the case, at least in bigger centres.

Have you ever been to Japan? You would notice that the incredibly busy streets and subways are surprisingly silent. Everyone (and I really mean everyone) has their headphones on, and their eyes are glued to their phones. People are not making eye contact, talking to each other or paying attention to what’s surrounding them – they are not living the present moment (I am pretty sure this is what a modern-day zombie apocalypse would look like).

Sure, a lot of the behaviour I just mentioned in Japan is cultural, but the scenario doesn’t seem to be that different in cities such as Toronto. If you walk into a  cafe or hop on a streetcar, people are also starring at their phones incessantly and not interacting with each other.

While it seems as if the situation is getting worse because children are now playing with smartphones before they can even speak, some experts say technology use will peak and decline.  Of course, technology will keep evolving, but some experts say the next generation will start slowing down and realizing what’s healthy and what isn’t.

I completely include myself in the criticism of this column. I was recently at a Christmas party where I wasn’t allowed to take photos or make videos. The result: that’s all I could think about for hours!  I still managed to take a couple of photos and one video while trying to hide my phone. And, just like most people, I find myself constantly starring at my phone.

The truth is that texting has become our main form of communication.

When people are having any kind of important moment, whether it’s a graduation, a birthday, a wedding or a Christmas party, everyone is  taking photos and videos instead of actually enjoying the moment. It has become more important to show how happy we are on Facebook than to actually be happy.

The question really comes down to: Are we really capturing the perfect moment? Or are we missing the moment entirely because we are too busy holding our cameras?

If someone arrived from the past and saw us today they would probably think we are dysfunctional (and they would be right).

So think about this next time you’re with a friend or having a party and you feel the urge to stare at your phone. Take a moment to look around you and see what’s happening. Pay attention to the present moment, don’t post it on Facebook and watch how you feel.

 

Just Posted

CN train derails near New Hazelton

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Burns Lake council takes action on housing issue

Council plans to invite several agencies to a meeting

Burns Lake athletes bring home gold

Cole Bender and Nicole Hamp stand out in Whistler

Burns Lake supports Nechako Watershed

Council has approved funding to help implement watershed strategies

Initiation tournament in Burns Lake

The littlest Burns Lake Bruins hosted a tournament at the Tom Forsyth… Continue reading

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

Most Read