As my restraint from posting on Facebook continues, I’m realizing that I’m not missing it a whole lot. That’s mostly because I grew tired of idiotic stories that local media thinks I should be paying attention to, like the woman who took a selfie in what she thought was her daughter’s dorm room — only it wasn’t.
That’s apparently “news” in this day and age. Before social media and the importance of taking a selfies, it would have just been a campfire story handed down from one generation to the next.
“Did I ever tell you what your great-grandmother did when I was in college?”
There’s a lot to be said about having a personal story to tell rather than watch it become a viral sensation that shifts our focus away from more important matters of the day.
You now, like the Running Man Challenge.
But meaningless stories aside, I’ve also come to realize that there’s a good chance that my friends probably don’t really care about what I’m eating or where I am at the moment. Many of us have become so focused on the immediacy of sharing the moment rather than taking the time to live and enjoy it.
That’s the point I’m at now. We no longer need Big Brother because we’ve become him.
For example, yesterday we went for a little road trip to the local beach community of San Clemente. That’s the birthplace of Rainbow Sandals, a high-quality flip-flop that will last you longer than you’d ever imagine. I own about four pairs and ended up bringing home another pair today as did Ann.
After buying our Rainbows, we did some shopping at the new outlets around the corner.
And during that whole time, I didn’t use my phone to take a single picture. That’s because I brought my camera with me.
My reason for doing so was simple: instead of just instinctively (and more often than not, thoughtlessly) taking a picture with my phone, the camera makes me think harder about the composition and in turn keeps me focused on, and honest about, the moment.
I find my subject. Compose the image. Check my shutter speed. Zoom in as I see fit. Grip the camera tight, hold my breath, release the shutter.
The moment, captured, with me in the middle of it.
There’s no “Share” button. No hoping I have a strong signal on my phone. No selfies with cans of chili in the grocery store. Just me and my camera taking the time to enjoy life and, of course, me writing about it hours later.
The moisture on this flower didn’t go unnoticed. It adds detail to the image. Was it hit by morning dew or did the sprinklers do this? Who knows for sure.
The Rainbow Sandals store has natural light beaming throughout which makes for excellent shooting conditions without a flash. Just a picture of footwear? Not really.
In the end, yes, I did share these moments after all. But it was much, much later in the day.
Because to me, being a part of and savoring the moment is much more important than having them posted to your timeline seconds later.
While I’ll still visit Facebook for pages I follow (that I have mostly in my Feedly feed anyhow), it isn’t for an extended period of time. Along with those “news” stories, there’s only Snapchat videos and/or face-swaps I can handle.