Why Your Future Self Will Thank You For Taking Pics During The Holidays

by Rebecca Clark

I may be what others consider as someone who “sees through a phone screen,” and I’m perfectly okay with that.

Whenever I go anywhere, I make sure I have a fully charged phone and enough memory on it to take as many pictures I want.

I walk away from concerts with hundreds of photos and videos.

My four months of studying abroad resulted in over 2,000 pictures.

Just last night, I went to a holiday light display with my boyfriend, and forced him to let me ask folks to snap a photo of us in front of some of the lights.

People say things like, “If you experience life through a phone screen, are you really living? Are you really seeing?”

To that I say, “I’m seeing my life perfectly clearly; my iPhone has damn good camera quality.”

I hear most of these complaints from older generations, the people who didn’t have the same technology we have today.

These people often don’t stay updated with technology, and either don’t possess any type of cell phone or camera, or they have one they don’t use very often.

You hear things like, “When I was a kid, we didn’t have…” and then they list a bunch of things, a cell phone inevitably included.

But I think we all know if this type of technology had been available when older folks were our age, they most certainly would have been holding up a phone to document their lives, too.

While there is, of course, nothing wrong with choosing not to visually document your experiences, I happen to enjoy doing so, as do many other Millennials.

Because an entire generation of people has access to this ever-evolving technology, we are often grouped as dependent upon our phones, or “seeing through a phone screen.”

But it’s quite the opposite; we’re experiencing our lives just as much as the phone-less person beside us; we’re just choosing to document life and share it with friends and family.

Because of our penchant to take photographs in today’s society, I can go back and see the entire childhood of my little cousins.

Looking at a picture I took of the Eiffel Tower during my study abroad experience conjures up the exact emotions I felt while I was physically there.

Even seeing a blurry picture of my friends and I that someone took of us on a drunken night out, reminds me of the funny stories we share and the strength of our friendship.

It can even be as simple as seeing a picture of me wearing a concert shirt, and I am suddenly transported back to that concert.

I will proudly continue to document my life through a phone screen, mostly through taking photographs, but also sharing these experiences through Facebook and Instagram.

Memories are some of the most powerful things we possess, and what better way to capture these memories than through pictures and videos?

When I’m old, I won’t have to struggle to remember that family vacation in Rome, or the exact shade of red my hair once was.

I won’t have to struggle to remember the exact location of that little patch of gray fur on my dog’s chin.

I won’t have to struggle to remember what my parents’ smiles looked like or the silly haircuts my younger brother once had.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with living your life through pictures, because photographing an event equals active participation.

It means that you were there, that you took the time to take your phone out of your pocket, to open the camera app, to press your finger to a button to capture the perfect shot.

It means that this moment in one point in time existed, and that no matter how insignificant it may seem, you chose to document it, to appreciate it and that moment somehow, some way, it helped shape you.