By Asha Hussein
I know it’s a bit of a cheap shot at social media to criticise its tendency to have an antisocial impact but just humour me.
The first time I ever travelled on my own I was obsessed with documenting every single moment for posterity, by which I mean Facebook likes.
I was constantly searching for the next photo opportunity; ready, willing and eager to view the world from the 2.5 inch screen of my digital camera.
I realised I had a problem when in the middle of the most incredible street celebration I’ve ever been a part of, I stopped, whipped my camera out and begun obsessing over angles instead of enjoying myself.
There I was, standing right next to the statue of Eros on Piccadilly Circus in London which was practically a mountain of shirtless, not all together unattractive bodies, just after Spain had defeated the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup finals and all I could think was, “Oh crap, I’m too close to get a good photo”.
I spent the entire night chasing photo opportunities like a lunatic and at the end of the night I had almost 300 photos but no meaningful memory of the night.
I think there is something to be said for living in the moment and not constantly trying to capture it.
Recently, Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas was heavily criticised for tweeting multiple times throughout his Olympic torch run.
I think the most shocking part was he actually had the torch in one hand and his phone in the other as he walked like it was the most natural thing in the world to be tweeting during what he himself called a “once in a lifetime experience”.
I think we’re losing the art of living in the moment.
Every momentous occasion is viewed through a filter of “How can I upload this on Facebook/tweet about this to maximise likes/comments” which takes a little from the moment.
Social media is changing the way we behave.
It’s become second nature to update the world on all the latest happening of our lives.
Though there is nothing seriously wrong with that, I hope it doesn’t leave us living life on the sidelines, witnessing it but not immersed in it.