To the two women that videotaped a jazz concert with their tablets in the front row.

I'm the genealogist/historian in my family. It's funny to see photos in the late 1800's...many of those pictures are the only ones that exist of a given individual in their whole lives and they represent a near-monumental occasions and considerable expense. Over the years, things go from there to snaps of very special occasions and important milestones, to special occasions and many milestones, to every day things and every milestone, to where we are now....many/most individuals having some sort of personal media brand.

My brother-in-law takes great photos and makes really cool movies of his family, sometimes he seems to be more focused on the production of these things than the thing/moment itself, but not in a stressful way. We all really enjoy what he does, but these things are media products, not memories. When we look at a photo album, we talk, we recount the stories, but when we watch these movies or see one of his really perfect photos it's almost like any commentary or discussion has already been made by the producer/editor....we say, "That was great! Very cool! How do you do that?!" But there isn't much discussion. It's strange.

With my older kids, I have a few albums and a few videos and we revisit these's why I wish I had more. My younger kids, the ones with all the digital content stored on their behalf, I only have easy access to what I've taken recently in my phone usually, and we don't usually spend more than a few moments in social media with that stuff because, you know, it just happened.

I agree that balance is the key, but I am not even sure what that means anymore. I have an artist friend who still uses a 35mm film camera and both Polaroid formats. He claims that digital media is ethereal, impermanent, scattered and that film is the perfect mix of civilization and spirit...and possesses the ability to make the immaterial material, and (literally) gives more weight to its subjects. I completely agree...but it seems like a pain! LOL!

All of this to say...yes! Don't be lazy...snap the pics! But be there, too. Don't miss truly seeing and being present for your child's smile because you are thinking about those Facebook or Instagram likes or grasping too hard on storing everything forever.

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