I am the first person to admit that I live my life through the lens of my iPhone.
I value capturing the things that make me happy on my camera (any of my cameras actually) and being able to look back on them. But is there a limit? Yes. I witnessed it on Saturday night.
I was very lucky to receive two tickets to a private Ellie Goulding concert to celebrate the DC Women’s Half Marathon presented by Nike and Interscope Records. To say the least, it was a very intimate setting and even though we arrived late, we were about 10 feet away from the front of the stage.
It was an awesome experience. She sang songs from both albums, bounced around the stage like a little pixie badass, put everything into her mini-concert and looked great doing it.
Because it was such a small crowd, it was easy to get close to the stage and get fantastic pictures of her, so naturally I snapped a few when she walked over to our side of the stage.
This was, however, the first time I was able to see first hand the negative effects of living life through your smart phone lens.
Recently it made waves in the media when The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s requested that after a certain point in the show people put their phones away and be physically and mentally present in the moment. Beyond that, the person behind you doesn’t want to watch the artist through your phone. They came to see them live.
At one point, Ellie came over and sat down on the stage and about 20 phones went up just to take pictures of her. How strange that must be to have more people jumping at the chance of photographing you then of reaching out and connecting with you.
I never thought I would admit this but…
Eminem really had the right idea about live shows.
You go to lose yourself in the music. To hear your favorite artist sing your favorites songs in a way that you’ve never heard them before. You go to make a split second of eye contact and get butterflies because your idol just looked at you and smiled.
When you record every song that you love, you aren’t all there. You are thinking about holding your camera straight, about getting the best shot. You aren’t jumping around and letting the beat pump through your veins.
You are missing out on an experience of a lifetime… just so you can “relive” it later.
Truthfully, there will never be another moment exactly like the one you’re in while you’re at that show…. so what is the answer?
Video tape/take pictures or put your phone in your pocket and jump around while your favorite songs are blasting through the speakers?
There was one person in particular who video taped LITERALLY every song Ellie sang. And he was standing directly in front of me. There were many times that I would just look at his screen because he was blocking my immediate view of the stage with his steady hand and smart phone.
Please see the phone screen in the bottom left corner of the photo.
Like, chill dude.
There are 4 million videos of Ellie singing like that on YouTube.
Being here is special.
Hearing her sing in a room of 400 people is… basically unheard of at this point in her career. I do not want to watch her through your stupid camera phone and neither does anyone else standing behind you.
I think it’s a strange dichotomy.
We live in a world where we share everything.
(In fact, the first thing my boyfriend did when we got to the venue was check in via Facebook and post a picture along with it). We want to share with our friends and strangers that we did something awesome.
In the same breath, are we missing out on the best things in life because we are constantly watching life pass us by through our iPhone screens?
And I know I’m going to hear it so let me address the “hypocrite” slurs.
So, I’ll probably hear…
“But Carley, you took pictures on your iPhone and put them on Instagram. I saw them. What makes you any different?”
Truth is, I’m not different.
I’m just as guilty as the annoying dude in front of me for watching a lot of one-time moments through my iPhone. This was the first night that it became very clear to me what The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s were talking about. In the hour we were at the concert, I probably spent a total of 5 minutes taking pictures. I refrained from using social media until after the show was over and we were leaving.
He probably spent a solid 25 minutes taking picture and video.
I suppose this was my “Aha!” moment. Seeing the difference between living for a fleeting moment and making sure you have proof that you lived through that fleeting moment.
I guess I’d rather have the memories than the videos.
It’s a weird world we live in, huh?