An Ode to Taking Fewer Photos and Living in the Moment

Photo by Vlad Cheu021ban

I take a sip of refreshing chai and relish the warmth it brings.

I visit a striking green paradise and breathe in the intoxicating air.

I spend time laughing with my loved ones, engaging in deep conversations.

Time stands still.

I welcome the moment with a big smile, comfortable baggy clothes, and frizzy hair.

All of it, without taking a single photograph to lock the moment.

There’s no pressure to look perfect.

There’s no pressure to get the perfect photographs, angles, filters, and light.

It’s perfect as it is.

In this age of social media, consciously taking a step back to enjoy life has proven therapeutic. It’s a transition that happened naturally for me during the pandemic. A metamorphosis that seeped unconsciously and significantly helped to reduce my anxiety. Along with it came the realization that we don’t have to lock everything in static images or never-ending videos. Sometimes, it’s okay to not record and to take that risk of losing a moment forever. Rest assured, the important things will stick and refuse to detach from you. You don’t really need a camera for that.

The constant pressure of social media, with its likes, shares, and validation, can weaken even the bravest. If our first reaction to a beautiful scenery is to take our phone out and view it through the camera’s lens, rest assured, we are not genuinely engaging. Our mind gets distracted by the constant back-and-forth shuffle between real life and reel life (Instagram or otherwise). The pressure doesn’t end there. Once you post the image, you are then distracted by who liked your pictures and what they commented. Each of these tasks might only take a few seconds. Still, collectively that’s a lot of time wasted navigating away from the present.

Contrary to popular notions, human beings are terrible at multitasking. Our brains are not wired to handle these many distractions. You can get things done, of course, but the overall value would reduce if you indulge in multiple interests simultaneously. Don’t believe me? Try to cut out other sensory reactions when you are listening to music – switch off the lights and engage in your favorite melodies. You will experience it like never before. The vocals and instruments sound sharper, richly intense, and more beautiful, purely because you are only focusing on the music alone and nothing else.

As a New Year resolution, maybe more people should learn to ignore the 24/7 pressure box they hold so tenderly in their hands. You can do more good for your body with this simple act – probably more than a gym membership would be able to.

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