Everything Is A Photo Opp: The Real Reason Gen-Y Has Friendsgivings
I am in awe at our generation.
A few nights ago, I found myself at a Friendsgiving potluck.
By the time everyone arrived, the dining table was fully adorned with all sorts of appealing food -- everything from chicken masala to Thai peanut sauce.
Everyone grew antsy; their mouths were salivating as they waited to break into this multicultural palette.
But like the modern-day prayer before a meal, what does everyone do first?
They take out their iPhones and take a Snapchat of the table.
I know this is nothing new.
But how is it we cannot even eat our meals anymore without snapping a picture first?
A few years back, people seldom took pictures of what they ate and projected it to the world.
It's such a mundane, common part of everyday life that, unless you're eating something unusual, why would anyone care about what you're eating?
Once everyone finished updating their stories on Snapchat, we finally treated the food as we were meant to and dug in. But as the night ensued, I was in for even more surprises.
As we indulged, about half us became engrossed in a heated debate about gender and sexuality.
People passionately shouted over one another, wanting to get their opinions across first. I mostly sat back and listened to what others had to share, intrigued by their ideas and well-crafted opinions.
But somewhere along the way, I noticed the other guests were engaging in a Polaroid photo session on the side.
One of them scrambled around the room, interrupting the conversations (much to their dismay) just to take a selfie with practically every single guest. I expected these photos to be posted on social media within 24 hours.
Sure enough, the very next morning, the Polaroids were posted on Instagram and Facebook, a few of them arranged against a cool background.
This night epitomizes the very problem with our generation.
We are so focused on trying to "capture the moment," it's keeping us from living in the moment itself.
This kind of picture-taking has far surpassed the tentative, awkward family pictures people took during the holidays to share through their email attachments and place in their photo albums.
Now we want to document every single little thing that happens as if it ceases to exist otherwise.
We've become hellbent on showing the rest of the world how happy we are on these occasions, when really, we're just fishing for others' approval and envy.
Doing this also makes us less mysterious. You don't have to wonder what your friend is doing, because you can simply look at her Snapchat story and know: who she's with, where she's eating or what assignment she's currently struggling with.
I'm not going to lie, I am guilty of doing all of these things as well.
But by being more aware of it, I'm trying to keep my phone away and focus on soaking up these precious moments instead.
Cameras may be able to capture the aesthetics, but what they fail to capture is the authenticity of the moments and the emotions were are experiencing deep down.
Therefore, I challenge you Gen-Yers: Next time you're at an event that's Facebook-, Instagram- or Snapchat-worthy, try to keep your phone away and focus on being fully present in the moment.
You never know what important pieces of information or opportunities you'll miss out on.
Had my friend ignored her itch to take excessive pictures during the potluck, she would have gotten meaningful insight into that controversial debate of gender allocation.