The other day, I went to a Halloween parade. It was a great parade. Well, the first half was great, anyway. During the second half I was freezing my fingers off despite mittens and a coat, and wondering forlornly why Halloween can’t be in September when it’s warmer. But back to the parade.
There sure were a lot of people taking photos, filming, and otherwise using their technological devices to record the event. And sure, there were a lot of stimulating sights, including giant skeleton puppets and a guy dressed up as a Ken doll who probably won the award for originality. (Though the woman dressed as the Titanic was also pretty sly.)
But did that warrant quite as much picture-taking as I saw going on around me? Some people marching in the parade were using go-pros. And I honestly think they saw the whole parade through their go-pros. They definitely weren’t looking at the crowd, or even at their fellow paraders.
Now of course, this wasn’t everyone. There were plenty of people both participating in and watching the parade who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves in the moment. And kudos to them.
But a lot of people seemed more focused on capturing the event for posterity than on enjoying the experience. Which begs the question: why stand/march in 40 degree weather in a crowded street when you can just watch the parade on TV and tape it? With a heater. And hot chocolate. In your pajamas.
This is a trend I’ve noticed a lot over the last few years. It’s especially prevalent at Disneyland. Some people seem determined to film the entire Small World ride. And as a result, they experience the whole ride through their camera screen. Now my question is, why would you ever want to watch the Small World ride on film? You wouldn’t!
And if you’re concentrated on filming the whole thing, you’re not really enjoying it. You’re not really experiencing it.
So instead of focusing on capturing that perfect photo of a firework, snapping pictures of a parade float to share on social media, or filming an amusement park ride to watch when you get home – let’s put the technology away and live in the moment.
Unless you’re a professional photographer, of course. In that case, go for it. And share the photos with us because they’ll be a million times better than anything we can capture on our crappy phone cameras.