How the compulsive use of smartphones has changed our lives
We are often anxious to capture a moment and then relive it later. The moment we are living can appear as either flung into the future or pushed into the past. We take a picture for the sheer pleasure of doing so, to share our experience with others, to prove that “yes, I was there too”. But be careful! The compulsive use of smartphones changes us from active protagonists to passive spectators. Thus, we risk not living the present, but diminishing its importance, as well as what is most precious to us: our life.
Photographing and sharing
In the age of instant digital connection, “photographing and sharing” seems to have become a real necessity, a need for existential affirmation: “I share therefore I exist”. We no longer grasp the present moment, only its digital reproduction, without which our life no longer has any meaning. So, let’s take a picture of the book we are reading, the food we are eating, the show we are watching: but does this habit not preclude simply living the moments we choose, and diminishing the importance of our presence?
Of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting to capture a moment: a particularly beautiful sky, a breathtaking view, the smile of a friend who is having dinner with us. However, this shouldn’t turn into “performance anxiety” because we must prove something to others who will see us. It shouldn’t allow us to forget what we truly enjoyed about the experience.
Live the present with our values as a point of departure
It is important to know what motivates our actions and our choices. Providing meaning to life means building upon enlightened and significant values such as faith, family, love, selflessness. Only by having a clear goal that makes sense to us can we truly take the time to cherish the way that leads us towards the goal. Pausing to enjoy the present moment will help us build happy memories of what we have lived. Those unforgettable “warm memories” can be transformed into a source of consolation for the future.
The act of memorializing an experience at any cost means that we are unable to live it or remember it fully. This is because the memory is made up of events, but above all of emotions. If these are not experienced in the moment, because you are busy photographing them, all the poetry of that moment will be lost.
Therefore, before memorializing our present, let’s try to observe it, to live it, to make it part of us, then, eventually, let’s photograph it. Fill yourself with the beauty of what you are experiencing, don’t just frame it with your smartphone. Cherish the joy it gives you, and even if you don’t have the perfect picture or video to post in real time on your favorite social platform, patience, it will still remain engraved in your memory. In this way your emotions will create the hues of this memory.
The possibility of memorializing every second of our life is certainly an extraordinary and wonderful invention, but like any human instrument we must rise above the risk of becoming slaves of technology.
Let’s try therefore, not to empty our experience of meaning only for a superficial desire to be seen: live more and memorialize less!