Have we become so engrained with photos and social media that we can no longer just enjoy intimate moments that should be shared in our own minds? No pictures needed is a plea to put down the phones and just enjoy life.
No Pictures Needed, but Picture This:
Today, in between making a recipe for work and prepping for dinner, I stopped and looked out the window. The cool fall wind blowing through the screened window. The rustling of color changing leaves falling down. And the giggles of two sisters struggling to pull each other in a wagon over rough terrain. Each bump and turn tumbling the belly and making for joyous memories and bonding moments.
I remember growing up and physically looking through a box of photos or physical photo albums. My mom didn’t have thousands of photos of me, but the ones she did have all told a story. I remember hearing “a picture means 1,000 words” and it stuck with me all these years. There are truly photos that could mean 1,000 words and then some. Photos that when you hold or see you can become overwhelmed with emotion or vividly remember a whole story behind this one photo.
Somewhere between the days that I grew and today, we’ve lost the translation. We’ve become so photo obsessed that we have lost the story telling behind many photos. Our children are growing up without photo albums or even just physical pictures. I, myself, am guilty of rarely printing photos out.
But our biggest fault.
Our biggest fault is that we have become so ingrained that we must “do it for the ‘gram” that one of our biggest faults is not being able to be present in the moment. Everything that we do or our kids do must be captured. “hold on, let me grab my camera”, “wait, do that again”, “say that again”, “freeze, don’t move, smile”. Every day dozens of photos being captured.
And it’s hurting our ability to just be present, soak up the memories, and just enjoy them for what they are. Moments that are special for just us. Moments that not everyone needs to see. These little moments that are supposed to be intimate and enjoyable without having the world’s eyes on them at all times.
Live in the moment.
When I saw my girls playing out my window today in between recipes for work and dinner, I immediately wanted to pic up my phone. I wanted to show everyone how much fun my girls were having. As I stared out the window, I immediately put my phone back down. A few things crossed my mind:
- If I stopped to focus solely on taking the picture, then I would no longer be able to focus on the moment that my girls were having together. Laughing, playing, and just being sisters. I wouldn’t have been able to flashback to a time that my own sister and I played outside without a care in the world together.
- If I stopped to take a picture, I would have likely interrupted their moment. Whether I went outside to get a closer picture, thus drawing their attention to me. Or I asked them, as I do thousands of times, to repeat whatever they just did so I could get the perfect moment capture.
Instead, I decided to put down the phone and just take the moment in for myself. To let them be little and have fun for themselves. No pictures needed so that they could simply be themselves and make memories without the world having to see what they were doing today.
And sure, in a way, our children are lucky to live in this time. They will have so many moments to look back on and recall through photos the memories they’ve made. But photos can’t always make up for the feelings that those memories make deep down inside about how someone or something or some place makes you feel. And because of that…no pictures needed.