Living Life Behind a Lens

living behind a lensYou may read the title of today’s post and wonder what the heck I am talking about. You might even think that I am going to talk about photographers. But I’m not, sort of. I am talking about almost everyone reading this. I previously wrote about learning to be present, where we need to stop and enjoy what is going on in the world around us. Today’s post talks about a specific way to be present.

Looking at Life as a Third Party

I bet the majority of you (including me at times) go to a concert, graduation, wedding, etc. and instantly pull out your phone or camera to start taking picture or record the whole thing. There is a problem with this. The idea of recording or taking pictures of the event is so that in the coming months and years, we can look back and remember how awesome that moment was. The problem is that if you spent the majority of the event filming or taking pictures, you weren’t really there in the first place. Sure physically you were there, but you weren’t present. You didn’t live in the moment. You were too busy looking at life through your phone or your camera to take in life.

Living Life Behind A Lens: A Friend’s Experience

The other day a friend was telling me about the NFC Championship Game he went to last year to watch his favorite team, the San Francisco 49ers play. He was seated right near the tunnel waiting for the team to race out onto the field. He pulled out his phone to record this awesome moment. Out came the team, sprinting onto the field. He got the entire spectacle on his phone.

When he goes back and watches that video, he has a twinge of regret. He realizes that watching the team run out onto the field on his phone is the same thing as watching them run out onto the field from home. He never really saw the team run out onto the field because he was too busy looking at it through his phone. He never saw all of the fireworks go off, he didn’t see the reaction of fans sitting near him, he never was fully engaged in the moment because he was too busy looking at life through a phone.

Understanding My Point

I am not trying to deter you from ever taking pictures or video of events that you want to remember. Just remember that we have our own video recorder, it’s called our mind. If you learn to visualize, you can live in the moment and remember vivid details about the event the rest of your life.

The next time you at an event, be sure to put away your phone or camera and just look around and soak up the moment for what it is. You may never get to experience that moment again. It would be a shame to be like my friend and realize that he missed out on the greatness of the moment because he was so concerned with getting it on film to watch later.

Image courtesy of africa /

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