A professor at Ryerson University argued that our constant and increasing need to 'back up' every single memorable aspect of our lives digitally may in fact not be the greatest idea. She pointed out that our current need to photograph, videotape and blog every single memory, essentially transforms our lives into a digital experience. But, in order to be creative, in order to be efficient do our brains need to reformulate memories, forget things and transform how we think about the past?
I thought the interview was timely, as it definitely tied into a work conversation I had the other day. A co-worker announced that five years ago her family lost their entire house to a fire. She went on to describe the horrifying experience and we all marveled at just how quickly you can lose all your 'stuff'.
One thing that she said that really stood out for me was the fact that she has since changed her way of experiencing her family's life events. She used to be that person videotaping and photographing every single tiny moment of a recital, sports game or family gathering. She felt like she had to, that it was valuable. She even said she would feel jealous of how her husband really *got* to experience the event fully while she felt she needed to zoom in on her child's face, or catch a certain part.
After loosing all of their digital 'memories' she realized just how temporary digital files and photos can be. She now hardly ever takes photos or videos and instead actively experiences her life.
Andrew and I experiencing life- while I was reading my vows to him... Although there is a photo to share, my actual memory of this is just so much more special.
I think that is so important to remember during these times of digitalized lives. We try to document so much digitally that we lose part of the actual experience in the process. While practicing yoga we are constantly reminded to be an active and mindful participant in our lives. Then we leave the studio, our mat and enter our crazy lives. I actually feel guilty about not taking photographs of an event. Often I'll say something like- 'Oh I need to take a picture for my blog!'
In the past few months I've tried to make choices about how I use my time. Do I spend it blogging, writing on facebook or twittering? Or do I spend my evening hanging out with my husband, going to a pub with friends or practicing yoga with friends? Lately, my initial blogging days of a post every two days has decreased to about twice a week. A conscious decision on my part.
During these busy Holiday moments, shut off your cell phone, disconnect yourself from twitter and put away your camera. Try to be an active and present participant in your life. Once the moment has passed, a digital memory for something you really didn't experience in the first place won't cut it.
article copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com