Living in the Moment: Photo vs Reality

Steve Jobs did not just changed lives by giving convenience when he created the first iPhone and all the other gizmos that followed suit. Rather, this technology caused some of us to forget how to truly live because we became disturbingly inseparable with our phones.

As the new generations of iPhone come, the cameras too get better. It is as we do not need to carry huge cameras with us and just click photos away with the smartphones. The problem is, we sometimes get a little bit carried away holding the phone in our faces 24/7 and taking never-ending photos with it.

Imagine if we do not have these smartphones and we are still using the old cameras with kodak film today.

Would we be taking this much photos or would we be exploring with our eyes more?

Everything is getting more convenient these days, but these convenience made me realized how  people can forget how to truly live and be present. Instead, we are spending our precious time watching this life from the mere screens of our gadgets and gizmos.

It’s disheartening and sad, really. Life is so much more than getting that perfect photo to be flaunt on social media. Take a look around you, ponder over what has been created around you.

A long time ago, I too used to take a lot of pictures and it became worse when I went on my first travel trip to New Zealand alone.

Mesmerised by the land’s natural magnificence and beauty, I could not stop clicking photos on my camera and phone one after another. Yes, it was that bad. I was overwhelmed and wanted to soak in the atmosphere as much as I can with both my phone and camera. The voice in my head was urging me to get everything on my camera as I do not always get to see lush landscapes like these. I wanted everything to be permanently recorded!

As fate would have it, I met this young girl; whose spirit is as free as a bird. She was the daughter to the family I was staying with in the North Island . Together, we went island hopping and again, I was clicking away when she nonchalantly said to me: “Hey, why don’t you put that down for one second. Come and look at this, just enjoy the moment”.

Hearing her uttering those and watching how peaceful she was just sitting down on that hill looking at the ocean, it suddenly hit me. It hit me real hard. I was stressing over capturing all that beauty on to my lens while she was looking so-ever serene and peaceful sitting on the grass while plucking tiny white flowers to put on her hair. This girl was really embracing mother nature, taking deep breaths with her eyes closed and feeling the sun’s warmth on her face. I still remember the whole scene clearly in my head and that was the defining moment that changed me. I was entranced by her serenity of not having a care in the world.

Slowly, I started learning to let go of the attachments and insecurities of taking  too many pictures everywhere I go. The change did not happen easily and all at once but it got better gradually.

Here are my thoughts on this obsessed-with-photos phenomenon and how we can seek balance and let go of this unhealthy habit. First, let’s understand the essence of why we feel the need to constantly photograph things. Below are some possible reasons why:

  1. MEMORIES. As human beings, we want to have something to look back to as life consists of fleeting moments that slips through our fingertips and will never return.
  2. SHARE. We would always want to show and share our experience with someone when we come back from our adventures. It’s our nature to not be alone and we want someone else to feel and know what we’ve experience elsewhere.
  3. SOCIAL MEDIA. There’s the constant fear of having to show off your life to your friends on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook or SnapChat. We want to parade our awesome lifestyle to people on the net to the point we lose ourselves in the process of truly living life.

Of course, there’s no problem if we really wish to share the photos/videos with our family and friends but try to limit ourselves by taking just a few photos. Then, let’s put the gadgets by our sides and start living in the moment.

Some word of advice.

Don’t miss out on the actual experience.

Don’t spend the whole time taking pictures and only look at the place from bright screens of your phones.

Don’t. Just don’t.

Reality is nothing as compared to those photos.
What satisfaction do we gain from taking too many photos?
The only remedy to cure this photo syndrome is try to sit down and think hard on the true reasons behind why we are taking so many photos.

If your only end reason is to show people, then think again, is showing people more satisfying than living in the moment?  Then ask yourself, if you need to show people, is it worth spending all the money to go to that place and take gazillion of photos and editing it  just to show them when there already is LORD GOOGLE.COM ?

Are you really having fun or stressing yourself out more by the pressure of all these?

Is it worth putting ourselves through all this stress to look perfect for the lens and dressing up in something uncomfortable just for the gram ?

Think of all this real deep and then take a deep breath, let it go. We only live once in this world, have your moment, it is for you, let others see for themselves when their time comes. Count your blessings and be present wherever you are, look around you , listen, smell, talk, get some nice simple shots and come home as storyteller.

Now, that’s really living.



It is the reader’s responsibility to verify their own facts. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organisation, employer or company. While we respect everybody’s views and opinions, it is also necessary to respect ours.



Submit a comment