Does your camera enhance or interfere with life?

06 Jan

Babies are cute. There’s no doubt about it. And with the integration of multimedia tools in everyday technology (read: iPhone) it’s easier than ever to spend your time documenting this cuteness, instead of living in it.

A friend of mine recently wrote:

“It’s very cool that we can capture photos and video via mobile on the fly–no more missing those little moments. At the same time, I can’t help feeling it turns us into voyeurs in our own lives, more intent on capturing the moment than being in it.”

And so that got me thinking – this need to capture every moment and post every photo and tag and check in – does it get in the way of life, or does it enhance life?

Over the holidays, I captured this video of our precious little twin babies and posted it to YouTube. Yes, it’s cute and yes, they’re adorable – but unless you’re in my will, you probably don’t care. Go ahead, have a look. But I’m just warning you now, it’s 2 minutes of babies on their tummies, cooing, and trying to roll over.

For me, there is a certain pressure and obligation to document enough of these “moments” not only for posterity, but to share with family members not in attendance. We recently even harnessed technology to live videocast a private event for my son to his godfather who lives in another state.

It used to be that families would get together over the holidays, sit around and watch the old Super 8 silent family films as they flickered across the white dining room wall. Nowadays, you can stream your turkey dinners live to faraway places. So it’s a battle between being in the moment and capturing it in a way that doesn’t interfere with it (the Hawthorne effect, from my psychology days).

Does anyone else encounter this issue?  What ways do you have to strike the right balance?

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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Family, Random, Thoughts


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