Smartphones have tarnished our memories, taking away the joy of living in the moment

In Columns, Opinion
People have gotten into the habit of using smartphones t document every moment of their lives, oftentimes to the detriment of others around them.  Not to mention the lack of living in the moment. (Courtesy of Flickr User Stefan Schmitz)
People have gotten into the habit of using smartphones to document every moment of their lives, oftentimes to the detriment of others around them. The idea of living in the present is slowly fading away. (Courtesy of Flickr User Stefan Schmitz)

It’s Friday night and you’re heading out to see a concert. You’re excited to finally get the chance to hear your favorite artist jamming out live. As you settle into your spot, the artist you came to see has arrived.

The lights go down, the cheers grow louder. It’s time to rock. As the music starts playing, a glowing screen is suddenly thrust in front of your eyes. The person in front of you decides it’s the perfect time to start filming the concert through his smartphone.

This behavior is infuriatingly common today. It’s a product of the digital age, where everyone feels compelled to document every moment of their lives, no matter the occasion.

Although it’s great we have the power to record life so easily, it isn’t always necessary. There are certainly inappropriate times to whip out your smartphone. One of those times is during a live concert. If you’ve been to a concert within the past 5 years, you’ll know the scene. You may even be one of the culprits.

I’m not opposed to snapping a few photos and recording a minute or two of your favorite song; after all, you paid a good amount of money to be here. But then again, you paid a good amount of money; why are you squandering the experience by watching the action through your smartphone?

A live concert experience is meant to be enjoyed in the moment. Not only are you filtering your experience by being preoccupied with your screen, you’re effectively ruining the experience for everyone else, including the artist. Nobody wants to see your glowing screen for the next two hours. Not to mention the terrible photo and video quality your indecency has to show for.

It speaks to a larger issue within society today; the need to show everyone around you how good your life is. From what you had for lunch to your outfit of the day, the social void that needs to be filled is becoming insatiable. After all, pics or it didn’t happen seems to be the aphorism most people abide by. Maybe I’m just old school, but we need to loosen the chokehold smartphones have on our social satisfaction. Technology and social media are relegating the idea of living in the moment into a notion of antiquity.

Our memories will be saddled with selfie takers and the eternal glow of an endless sea of smartphones. That’s not something I want to remember when thinking back on the time I spent at a concert or the wonderful day I spent at the park. As the sage Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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