Alec’s thoughts on Connected Learning left me wondering:
How often do I forget the original pleasures of life because I’m so consumed with capturing the moment on my smartphone? It’s ironic that while we are trying so desperately to capture the moment, we could be actually missing the moment. We may have a picture, but did we really live that moment? Did we really taste that curry? Did we really see the blues in that water? Did we really hear those harmonies?
It’s fascinating to consider how smartphones have revolutionized the way we share our life experiences with the world. I think of my Mom and Dad moving to India and marrying in the mid-1960′s. A month later, family at home likely received photos and a recount of the special day. Then Mom gives birth to my three oldest siblings in India, an ocean and a continent away from any family. Today, Dad still travels to India. He’s 72. He updates on Facebook, Facetimes when he has the chance and a good connection, and this time before he left, I introduced him to Instagram. I remember what a difference it made for Mom to be connected on Facebook when they lived in India for another five-year span a few years ago.
I think of my own travels. The first time I traveled to India, as a 19-year-old, I captured the moments on my film camera, and shared my story in a handmade scrapbook, which I labored over for what seemed like hundreds of hours. It is a treasure, partly because it represents my creativity before the day of the online photobook, and then of course because of the memories from my first encounter with India.
During my recent trip to Europe, my sister or I would write and post some kind of daily update. At first I was hesitant to create such a steady stream of our experiences online. I didn’t want to be obsessing with uploads and posts, but so many people were enthusiastic about living vicariously through us, so we continued. It was fun to be able to share that journey. It’s great to now have my Instagram feed and Facebook page serve as a journal of the trip. I am glad that there lulls where we couldn’t access WiFi. It allowed for space to simply “be” without thinking about sharing and posting.
There is certainly a balance to be found here. I appreciated Alec’s guideline, “If it disconnects you and moves you away from community and others, don’t use it“. It was great to have the reminder to live with my eyes wide open, rather than filter my experiences through a 4″ screen.
What do you think? When you travel, do you prefer disconnecting and just soaking in the moment, or do you enjoy sharing your experiences online?