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Put the Camera Phone Down Already

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This has become the scene at about every event I go to now.

concert phones

Are you really going to watch that shit?  Or are you just going to upload it to your youtube channel?

I want to watch the show I paid to see, not see it through your view screen. This is not a generational thing, either.  I’ve seen people of all ages holding up devices.

It’s understandable to want to have something to show for what we do in life.  So take a couple of pictures to capture the moment and then put the fucking phone away.

I finally had a good spot to watch the fireworks at Disneyland last week but I saw this all around me.

disney fireworks

And people taking flash pictures of said fireworks.  What the fuck do you think you’re going to capture with that flash?  You’re just going to illuminate the nearest object (probably someone’s head) and get a blurry light in the background.  Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed in the moment.  There are professional photographers who have amazing cameras that can capture a fireworks display better than your damn iPhone ever could.  The internet is full of such awesome pictures.  Stop wasting your time and ruining other people’s view!!!

These are the absolute best shots I’ve ever gotten of fireworks (with a non-flashing camera set to capture low light pictures).

fireworks 5

fireworks 6

I got the hidden Mickey in the fireworks show.

I got the hidden Mickey in the fireworks show.

These are mediocre at best.  And they don’t even bring me one hundredth of the joy that actually watching the show did.

We used to be more judicious with our photo taking when film and developing cost money.  It’s practically free because of digital cameras and phones, so we just go hog wild now.  I had a friend go to Europe for a few weeks.  She sent me a link to her photos.  There were over 1100!  I got bored after about three or four hundred of them.  I probably missed some good ones but ain’t nobody got time for that shit.

aint nobody

Studies have been done that indicate incessant photo taking doesn’t help your memory of an event or moment, it actually lessens it (see this article).  You spend more time behind a camera rather than really taking in a moment, you only remember that.
We all want mementos of our life experiences but when the acquisition of those takes the place of actual experience, then you are robbing yourself of being present in the moment, a moment you may never get again.  If you lose your memory, those photos will have no more meaning to you than if you saw them in a magazine.  But if you lose your photos, you’ll still have your memories.  Put the phone/camera/iPad down once in a while and experience life.  You won’t miss photos you never bothered to take.  And you probably don’t even think about most of the ones you’ve already taken.


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