We hear it too often. Heck, we probably all say it at least once a week, if not once a day. You know what I’m talking about, that one phrase that seems to sum up our lives in four words. “I am too busy.” We’re all too busy to rest, relax, and breathe. We spend our lives capturing moments on our phones, posting ‘memories’ to Facebook, and in the end, it’s great that we have all of this technology at our fingertips. Unfortunately, we let everything we have access to detract from everything we experience.
For example, last Sunday I had the opportunity to attend the Mumford and Sons concert at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. In a word, the show was – amazing – the quality of the performance blew me away. Now, I know some people attend concerts solely for the purpose of seeing the main attraction so it did not surprise me that the venue was less than full when the opening act, Raury, started up. I have no problem with people filtering into a concert on their own schedule; however, I do have reasonable expectations of the people who choose to be present for opening acts or pre-shows. I expect that I should be able to enjoy said opening acts without blatant disruption. Does that sound like too much to ask?
Well, one couple several rows in front of me obviously did believe that basic respect for their fellow concert goers was too much to ask. How did they disrupt my viewing experience you might wonder, they took selfies. Now, you might think I’m overreacting but I’m not, because they did not just take one or two selfies, they did not even take twelve. This couple took selfies for an hour, straight. I was tired just watching them. They started before the pre-show and continued throughout the majority of Raury’s act. They never stopped to rest, and if that was not enough they used the flash sporadically as they strove to capture the perfect ‘carefree night-out’ selfie.
By the end of the night that couple had finally taken a photo that suited their social media needs but I found myself wondering if they realized how much they had missed. How much time do we spend behind screens trying to capture just the right moment and lose our patience or time in the process? How often do we let ourselves rest? How often do we step away from our cameras and social media networks to acknowledge that yes, we can update them later. There’s a reason why the saying Carpe Diem has lasted over the centuries – it has real merit. So, think about taking a rest. Think about putting that camera down and enjoying that new band or the beautiful colours of the sunset instead of stressing about capturing the moment. The perfect moment does not need a phone. In fact all it needs is you and all of your attention.