Now while I do love me some social networking – some Facebookin’, some tweetin’, some bloggin’ – I am still always a bit challenged when it comes to taking all that into the offline space. For example, I remember going to try a new restaurant, and pulling my phone out to capture the food the moment it was placed in front of me, and I remember being very aware that I probably looked pretty stupid, and looked like THAT girl taking photos of her food. In fact, I tried to take the photo on the down low, looking around to see if anyone was watching my smartphone antics, even taking the flash off to avoid being spotted. Lol.
I always feel a bit invasive if I pull out my phone in a restaurant or at an event. While I do indeed take the occasional photo for the blog, I still don’t capture a whole lot of stuff which I am sure would make my blog awesome. I love other blogs that have all those wonderful moments, and yes, we often do live vicariously through those recorded moments, but I am still grappling with the balance between recording the moments and living the moments.
I used to joke about life in London, when on the train, the hamsters would have their eyes dead set on the screens of their phones, oblivious to life around them. At a recent event here in Trinidad, I felt that sense of déjà vu where I sat in a room, at a great event, with great people, and there was a smartphone in every hand, and several pairs of eyes and minds were lost in cyberspace – Instagramming the food, tweeting about the drinks, checking in to the venue, but not really enjoying the food, enjoying the drinks, or enjoying the real people in the room at that moment.
We go out and we sit with the phones within our reach, stalking it for that beep, that shrill, that flashing light indicating a message, an email, a tweet, a comment, while there are a myriad of great things maybe happening at the table. It’s what I would describe as being socially anti-social – we are social in the 2013 sense of the word, but in truth, there is an element of distracted, insular, selfish behavior every time we bow our heads to “socialise” on our phones in the company of others.
I am not perfect. I very often fail at dinners or events when I check in or whatsapp a friend a photo, or what have you. But more and more, I am challenging myself to leave the phone in my bag and just enjoy the moment for what it is. I don’t always succeed, but hey…