There was a time in my younger years (this makes me sound old) that I had a strong need to document everything that happened in my life. Friendster and Multiply were my avenues for photo and video sharing… where friends could snoop around posts and comment away. In 2008, I got sick of my ex and his new girl’s oh so inlove faces on Friendster that Multiply became My Life in a Nutshell site. Facebook happened shortly afterwards.
When I head out with friends, I’d got to have my digicam with me. I felt obliged to take photos of every moment we had together. I went as far as documenting every little movement each of us did! Even if we’d get home at 12 or 1 in the morning, I can’t help but post the pictures as soon as I can. My barkada calls this efficient, real time uploading. During concerts, I’d feel empty-handed without a decent video of a song performed, or a close up photo of the artist. I’d raise my hands as high and steady as I can, trying not to sing in the background so that future viewers of the video won’t get annoyed with my singing. I documented every little detail of birthday bash, out-of-town trips, holidays, shopping, spa and coffee sessions, movie dates, and even the most mundane days in the calendar. I just got to post what I was doing, who I was with, where I was, how I got there, why I was there… Post and share away!
Later on I figured, WHAT THE HELL?! My digicam gave up on me, but this helped me let go of the share away mentality that social networking sites integrate in our lives. A few photos of every event are sufficient enough for my planner and annual photo flashback. I still am a sucker for flashbacks, keepsakes, and memories, but it’s more fun to document less and experience more!
Nowadays, when I watch a concert, I’d listen intently to the performance and let its greatness linger without taking a video of it. I’d rather sing, dance and shout, than steadily raise my hands for a clear shot. Why would I let the opportunity to experience something live pass by for some stupid, amateur video? It would turn out shaky and noisy anyway without the proper equipment for it.
With out-of-town trips, isn’t it more fun to worry less about the photos (especially your vanity shots), and experience the scenery more? I’d rather frolic in the beach all day (with a few jump shots in between!) than document every detail of what I’m up to.
This goes out for Twitter usage as well. My fingers often hover at the Unfollow button for users who do not show proper Twitter etiquette. Thanks but no thanks for the info, dear user, but it’s best to keep some VERY personal stuff to yourself. Say, when your private part’s itchy, or you let out a fart, or you plan to have a smoochapalooza with your boy toy. I’d rather not know. There’s a fine line between freedom of speech and info overload.
This incessant need to document everything online is here to stay, though. I am a hypocrite if I say I no longer have that urge to share away, but I learned to do things in moderation. And choose your sites well for info sharing. I check in ALL the time, but I keep it within Foursquare. If I need more people to see it, then I cross-post on FB or Twitter. I also have this blog for rants, Tumblr and Pinterest for random shenanigans and inspiration, 8tracks for music, Facebook for interactions (and stalking haha!), and Twitter for a bit of everything. Just imagine how much spam I’d contribute to the worldwide web if I cross-post at all sites!
Documenting less makes every night out, concert, movie date, out-of-town, coffee catch up, etc. feel more human and fun. You get to appreciate everything around you more without the constant worry of the Share / Post button. I hope more people adapt to this mentality soon! Plus, we’ve been playing this game since summer of this year. Face-to-face versus face-to-phone! See the difference a strictly no phones policy could do for you and your friends. 🙂
Post inspired by Jason Mraz’s beautiful music, as always. Live in the moment, people! 🙂