Tuesday, August 11, 2015

In the Moment

Following Brian Williams' gaff, there were a number of articles about memory (I linked one regarding false ones last week). 

Here's another: "Shutterbug Parents and Overexposed Lives" by Teddy Wayne. In short, ll this constant photo snapping plays games with our recollections because the brain decides that once a picture is being taken, it doesn't have to bother to remember the moment itself. 
Frantically snapping multiple shots for supposed future reference is the opposite if "being in the moment." Then those photos aren't ever looked at again, so what was the point, really? 

I've been an aunt since the age of 12. I must admit, when the first ones rolled in, and this was prior to the cellphone, that camera was constantly clicking away. I have boxes and boxes of pictures that require sorting; last year, I attempted to, then chickened out. The task is just so daunting. Weeding out great from good from okay photos can be an impossible mission.


There is one room in the house that displays lovingly selected pictures, the best of the best (and the ones that could not be rejected lest someone get offended). But my 5-year-old nephew commented just this Shabbos, "There isn't one of me here." 

"Oooh, look, I bought you Lego!" 

With the later crop of kinfauna, even with smartphones, it seems less important to whip out the recording devices. You want to sit with them, talk with them, and not ruin the tone by distractingly yelling at them to say "Cheese!" 
“Maybe taking photos is a way to compensate for not being present in the moment,” Dr. Henkel said. And yet the act of posing for and taking a photo is rarely a moment worth cataloging; it’s what was candidly happening beforehand that compels us to take a picture.
“Saying, ‘Here we are having fun, now everybody look and smile!’ can be a disruption of the experience,” she said, adding that the interruption of attention can also hinder our future retrospection. “We’re collecting trophies of our experiences rather than being engaged in the experiences.”
How many pictures does one need, really?    

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