Living in the moment.
What does this mean? After a quick google search, you could find multiple definitions. The majority of them however, promote a peaceful mindset, stress-free, and unplugged. The images from said google search indicate similar behaviours. Usually enjoying nature, sometimes with family, but usually alone.
Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/64121386@N06/25049599176/”>José Eduardo Nucci</a> via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a> <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147″>cc</a>
Now, if we did this search in, say, thirty years; what would show up then? Would we see pictures of people Snapchatting? Would we read articles about the 10 ways to live in the moment, with the first suggestion being to Snapchat like a boss? By then I’m sure new social media outlets will have replaced Snapchat, but I wonder if posting information, pictures, or simply communicating via apps or websites is how we – or the young? – now live in the moment. I’ve been thinking about this all week, considering the fact that some are checking their Snapchat 20 times a day, if not more, and that this social media outlet is fast replacing other venues frequented in the past.
Ben Rosen actually investigated how to Snapchat like the Teens, and discovered it is a much more complex, arduous, and time-consuming task than initially predicted. To do it like the teens, one needs to be constantly checking and sending cool and not weird pictures and stories, depending of course on the recipient. Teens live, practically, on these types of networks. According to Rosen’s 13 year old sister, Snapchat is about being there in the moment. She is not the only one who thinks as such. Living in the moment is now living online, sharing one’s moments, thoughts, essentially everything with another virtually. The outlet of choice at the moment is Snapchat.
There are, of course, other points of view. The comment section of Ben Rosen’s article is particularly interesting. Many oppose the idea of constantly Snapchatting – noting it is self-obsessive and filled with nonsense – with others applaud those who can use it so aptly.
I just can’t wrap my head around how it is living in the moment.
I remember, in my second last year of my undergraduate degree, I took part in a life-changing program, the March of Remembrance and Hope. If you have not yet heard of it, I encourage all of you who can to participate if possible. It is an incredible program, offering students and educators the opportunity to learn first-hand about the Holocaust, its effects on humankind, and what we can learn from it. It notes the importance of continuing the education of the Holocaust – as well as all types of persecution that humankind has done to itself – and the importance of not being a victim, nor a perpetrator, but most of all, to never be a bystander (words spoken by Yehuda Bauer). To keep the information and memories of this experience – and to share them with my family, my colleagues, and my students – I took many pictures. Others took videos. Some, however, took nothing. They wanted to live in the moment. They wanted to take it all in, without the distractions of cameras or other such objects. Did taking pictures hinder my ability to live in the moment? To experience all that March of Remembrance and Hope had to offer? Or did it help me remember the moments, by forever capturing them?
Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/132314343@N04/21946610375/”>mitchfrank95</a> via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a> <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147″>cc</a>
We do have to consider that this was, of course, 5 years ago – which technologically is ages ago.
So my question is: does technology, or specifically in this case Snapchat, help us live in the moment, or hinder it? Or does it rather change our definition of what living in the moment means? Would my experience in March of Remembrance and Hope have changed if I were on Snapchat at the time? Would I have enjoyed it more, or less?
The fact that Ben Rosen’s sister is on her phone all the time – during supper, while she is watching Netflix, essentially while she is doing anything – makes me wonder if she is living in the moment. Is she missing what’s happening around her to check what’s being sent on Snapchat? The fact that someone (according to his sister) can use 60 gigabytes of data in a month is shocking. I drove from Regina to Calgary, then to Edmonton, and then back to Regina using my phone as a mobile hotspot to blog and work this past week, and yet still I have not broken 2 gigabytes of data usage this month. How can one use 60 gigabytes? How many gigabytes do you use in a month?
Or maybe I’m not living the moment, being that I am not on Snapchat? Maybe I have the ‘adult’ view, and I need to think more like a ‘teenager’?
Trust me, I’m not against technology. In fact, I have become quite interested in Twitter since joining at the beginning of this course. Although I am still in the mostly re-tweeting phase, I feel more informed of things happening around me and more involved in others’ journeys. I am simply wondering if it is possible to be too involved in these social media outlets to start missing out on living in the moment? Or is there never enough?
What does living in the moment mean to you? What will it become in our future?