In a world where we so heavily rely on technology, the need for some digital detox is becoming critical. A simple step you can take to limit your tech time is by putting down your phone + choosing the experience over the picture. We have a tendency to spend so much time capturing events instead of experiencing them. We can take hundreds of photos at a time just to get the perfect angle, the perfect lighting, the perfect <you fill in the blank> We’re then left with hundreds of photos on our phones that we never develop and don’t really look at again. Then, when the storage on our phone gets low, we delete all of them. Sound familiar?

The Negative Effects of Technology

The possibilities seem limitless with the abundance of technology available to us today. But the amount of photos we are able to take in such a short period of time is just one example of the harmful effects that can coincide with advanced technology. This ability only perpetuates our habit of self-criticim.  We are never able to attain the perfect shot,  leaving us feeling unhappy and “less than.” Then, we log onto social media and compare our lives to everyone else’s + we feel even more unhappy + inadequate.

To top it off, we are also missing out on the experience itself. We go to concerts and spend the entire time recording videos on our phones (like we are going to watch them again someday.) Pictures document everything between sunrise + sunset on vacation, as if it didn’t happen unless we have proof of every minute. We take 100 photos of our lunch +we take selfies in our car. We literally never put down the camera to enjoy what’s happening around us.

This is no longer the age of disposable cameras or rolls of film. Anyone who is old enough to remember these methods of photography can vouch for the fact that it was different back then. You weren’t going to waste 1 of the 29 photos on your disposable camera by taking different angles of the same shot. You took one picture, hoped nobody blinked, and saved the rest of the film for the next occasion. Photos were INTENTIONAL + they were saved for special occasions. It took time, effort, and money to develop the pictures. The day you finally got to see them was cause for celebration! Even though the photos were rarely perfect, we recalled each memory with fondness instead of becoming self-critical.

Choosing Mindfulness

I’m a fan of all of the advantages that technology brings, but it can also enable us to live MINDLESSLY. When we’re busy behind the camera, we’re missing out on the beauty around us; we’re missing out on life. This can ultimately lead to feelings of depression + emptiness. In fact, the #1 complaint I hear from clients is that they feel that they’ve lost the ability to enjoy the present moment. Living mindfully is one of the greatest things we can do for our happiness, and sometimes that means choosing the experience over the photograph. To stop living your life through photos. I’m not suggesting you eliminate picture-taking from your life, because there are plenty of events worthy of being captured. I am encouraging you to take ONE picture + put the camera away. It’s a simple way to start your mindfulness journey. Notice the difference it makes when one picture is enough.