Living Your Life vs Documenting It

selfie family generation father

By Jerry Lambert

In these days of self-obsession, it’s rare to find anyone who’s actually living life and not just documenting it through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. There’s an interesting TV show I’ve been watching called Reverie. The main character is a college professor who teaches her students how to interact with each other and sharpen their observational skills. She says that most young people won’t take their eyes off their phone for half a second, let alone look each other in the eye. Check out any group of young adults. Are any of them actually talking to each other? If they are, do they look each other in the eye? The art of conversation is becoming a Lost Art indeed.

I like to dictate some of these articles while I’m on my morning walk with my dog. I’m a victim of Phone Tunnelvision myself. I just walked into a tree branch full of wet leaves! Yuck! We’ve all seen the videos of people falling into fountains or stumbling down stairs while looking at their phones. If nothing else, they are providing endless hours of entertainment for viewers of YouTube and America’s Funniest Videos. After my interaction with the tree branch, I did a quick look around to see if anyone was watching, shook the water out of my hair, then quickened my pace towards home.

Even though kids these days don’t talk to each other much, they sure take a boatload of pictures (at arm’s length). My old friends Jim and Joe recently joined me at our local minor league ballpark, Jimmy John’s Field. The place has all the ambiance of a small town ballpark, but it’s just a few minutes north of Detroit (and the abysmal Tigers). Since we hadn’t seen each other in a while, I wanted to take a picture to commemorate the evening. I realized the next morning that I had completely forgotten to take the picture. However, we had a few beers and a lot of laughs, so I don’t really need a photo to remember the night. It was a true nostalgic evening. I think we all need more of those and fewer selfies.

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