How much does your camera determine your approach to important moments in life?

Jan Voth / Flickr
Some parents today are like the paparazzi. Bombarding their children trying to document their lives growing up. From videotaping their first steps to graduation day there are few big moments that aren’t documented.

It seems that we don’t have time to live in the moment. We snap a picture to help us recall the feelings of that day. If we didn’t have that picture, we fear that those feelings and memories would be lost forever.

As blogger Dave Pell argues, our desire to document everything is tainting our recollection of the event. He explains how his son’s memories of his second birthday have be altered because of the documentation he saw recording that event.

“The instant my son looked at the image, his imagination-driven perception of himself was replaced by a digital reproduction of the moment he had just experienced. He had a few seconds, not nearly long enough, to create his own internal version of what that moment looked — and by extension felt — like.

It’s impossible to create a mental picture of a moment when a digital version of that moment is staring you in the face (and often within seconds, the Facebook too).”

On the flip side, photos and videos offer a way to relive the event. For instance the New Yorker wrote, professional mountain biker Aaron Case is able to receive the same adrenaline rush of coursing down the Smoky Mountains with the help of his GoPro, a camera mounted on his helmet nearly replicating the real-life experience.

Today’s Question: How much does your camera determine your approach to important moments in life?

  • Pearly

    ” How much does your camera determine your approach to important moments in life?”
    it doesn’t Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………………

  • Jessie

    My mother has at least two or three boxes of tapes and probably more than that full of photos from when I was a kid. I’m not sure how that’s any different from the digital collection we’ve start of our kid 20 some years later. For that matter, how about all of the 8mm film and boxes of pictures my grandparents had from my mother’s childhood? Ours just takes up less space in the attic.

    This all feels like another version of “our generation did it better than yours”.

  • David

    Funny question. I have no kids, so don’t know about documenting their lives. I was amazed last Saturday at the Replacements show how many people spent the time watching the band through the tiny screen on the back of their phones. And are they really ever going to watch it again? Maybe once or twice. I think they missed a large part of the event. All for some horrible pictures and grainy video with bad sound.

  • Alyssa

    I still have a basic phone with a basic camera. Nothing fancy at all. If I see something that is particularly spectacular (like the huge rollers on Lake Superior today!), I’ll snap a quick picture to keep just for the memory. However, it’s really nice to not have to view my life through the back screen of a camera all the time. My memories are held in my head, and I like them there. Life is more authentic without technology invading every moment.

  • Observe

    People get addicted to taking photos and can barely see without snapping a photo. This can happen not just for big events, but any that invite photo taking. With the advent of digital quality this problem even gets worse as photos sometimes can see better than the naked eye and produce wondrous revelations and detail.