The Moment, the Memory, and the Picture

Team, we are going to have a little fun this week.  Keep it light.  As you know, I am not big on strict rules, but I am going to have a few this week.  Here they are.  No one take offense.  Laugh at ourselves a little.  Pay attention.

As you may know by now, societal jargon annoys me.  So much of it makes no sense, and I oftentimes wonder if people even know what they are saying.  My example and topic this week is the phrase “making memories”, which I have overheard no less than 10 times this week.

64A7F39C-7BED-4718-B25F-0DE6C519A9EEI think I understand what people are trying to say here, but let me give you my take.  Whatever memory you are making and with whomever you are making it with, please be present, enjoy their company and savor the moment.  Like, in real time.  Let the memory be the byproduct.  Let the picture be the byproduct.  The time spent in the moment is the goal.

0CE5D845-290F-458C-96DB-F7DD24EEED8EAs a former major offender, here’s what I have started doing.  When there is a “moment” happening, I put the phone down.  Period.  I take whatever it is in real time with my five senses, and really focus on the sight, smell, touch, sound, or taste.  That interaction is much more powerful and long-lasting than a picture. As an example, my favorite thing to do when I first walk outside of the airport of a new city is stop and consciously take in the smell.  If for whatever reason I ever need to think back on this memory, I don’t pull out the picture.  I summon it from my body.  Much, much more enjoyable.  Try it.

B1EFE569-F9C2-4007-96B3-BF9958F2C48AMy favorite example in recent memory was at The Blue Lagoon in Iceland.  These damn people, hundreds of them, could not wait to get the perfect picture with the perfect background with the perfect lighting.  I sat in the water for probably two hours soaking it all in cracking up.  I savored the warm, healing water contrasted against the 30 degree outside temperature.  I enjoyed a cold Icelandic beer. I took the above picture as a joke.

7EDC7858-E772-4935-8CFB-A28BFF910E0A I honestly don’t know if these people had any idea where they were and how cool of an actual experience it was.  (Interrupting a brilliant human moment for a picture is even more mind boggling, and please don’t get me started on Facebook Memories.)

71CB1C75-AE5D-4908-A1DD-D970871872FBI had this novel idea that the blog would primarily show you what I am seeing with my eyes, that maybe you could experience it with me.  If I’m showing you Reykjavik, I want you to see Reykjavik, not me in Reykjavik.  It’s like an extension of my eyes.  I just assume you would know I was there.  It’s why I killed the fashion blog early.  Selfie overload.  It just felt tacky and insecure.  Yes, your picture will get less likes without you in it, but is that really a problem?  (My ultimate goal is to have a post so good that no one likes it but that may truly inspire someone else in their life. Think about that.)

Listen, ya’ll are all cooler than me.  Maybe the joke is on me.  Or maybe everyone else is thinking the exact same thing as me, and we can just secretly agree.  Are we missing out on ridiculously cool human experiences at the expense of taking photos and “making memories”?  It’s just a strange phenomenon, isn’t it?

So, in conclusion, everyone exhale. Relax.  It’s okay.   I’m just messing with you.  Take your selfies.  Take your pics.  Take your vids.  Make your memories.  I certainly do.  But do put the damn phone down at some point and experience whatever and whomever firsthand.  Take in the moment.  Breathe it in. That is where the magic lies.

EBBC5F6C-D0AC-4672-A43E-096B1A17185EI honestly just don’t want you to get home, look at your pictures, and say this to yourself.  “Wow, that looks magnificent!  I wish I could remember how that experience made me feel, but instead I was taking some goofy-ass pic.”  Been there.  Done that.


Have a great week.-Benj

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