“Millenials only see things through the lens of their cameras.” “Why don’t kids put down their cameras and live in the moment?” These are statements I’m sure most of us have heard or even thought—I can say I’ve done both. I actually just read an opinion article that determined that younger generations on their phones ruin vacations for others. Millenials are used to getting the blame for all sorts of things, but this is one I would like to make an argument against.
When we were kids, our parents took pictures of us on disposable cameras. We followed them into the store to drop off the film and pick up the resulting photos. These photos might have ended up in a scrapbook, on the fridge or in the homes of various family members. Some families had digital cameras, and as technology advanced, the photos would get stored on computers or CDs, which I thought was such a cool concept as a kid. Now, with cell phones being a common and prize possession, taking photos has never been easier—for parents and the kids who got their photos taken on disposable cameras. So when, then, did taking photos become so disruptive?
I get it to an extent. “Kids” these days are definitely too attached to their phones, and it is true some don’t know how to put phones down. But what about the kids who want to experience and genuinely remember the event with some video or photos? This is why, to me, taking photos is so important.
I have a pretty terrible memory, which is one of the reasons I started this blog. It’s another reason why I take photos of almost everything I do. Some of it is admittedly driven by Instagram and wanting to post about my life, but most of it is honestly just wanting to be able to look back on these moments down the road and recall the scenery and moments that surrounded that snapshot in time.
One pet peeve I do have, though, is when people take photos and just leave them on their iPhone to stay there until their phone breaks and they sadly lose all the photos. I definitely think it is important to back up photos on whatever works for a person. I personally have my photos stored on external hard drives, and I scrapbook. My scrapbooks are some of my most prized possessions, and guess what? I wouldn’t have them if I wasn’t seeing things “though the lens.”
Yes, I do agree people need to live in the moment without a lens. When I’m at concerts, I have a rule that I can only take up to five photos and one to two very short videos. I do think we are at such an advantage with the various ways we have to capture a moment, so we should use it.
If you’ve ever felt self-conscious or judged for taking a photo, just remember that you’re making memories and capturing valuable moments you’ll never get back. So enjoy those moments, capture them, and then put your phone or camera down.