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one picture = one thousand words : one thousand pictures = overkill

March 22, 2013

popeandphonesThis smartphone thing has gotten out of hand (again). Don’t get me wrong. I love mine, too. I take it everywhere. Although I have a nice camera (and I’ve been told I take decent photos), I use my iPhone to document special moments in my kids’ lives. Every once in awhile, I dump the pictures and videos to my computer so I’ll have a record of the Easter Egg hunt or the St. Paddy’s Day parade. We are all reachable every minute of the day. If my phone’s battery level drops to 15% or worse, I’m on a quick hunt for the charger. Even my sister in law finally upgraded to a big fancy phone. We’re all connected.

Here’s what gets me. Just about anywhere you go, unless it’s forbidden, the screens take over.

Last week, The Kids’ school was recognized for their awesome Spanish program at the Foreign Language Association of Georgia’s annual conference. Everyone in attendance was abuzz about how cool it is to see these students learning Spanish at such a fast rate. Every child has Spanish class 5 days a week, which is a luxury that most schools don’t have. We’re proud.

About 25 kindergarten and first graders and half as many fourth and fifth graders assembled in front of the 300 hundred or so teachers attending the conference. They’d practiced and memorized the song and dance. People were impressed. Well, they were if they were able to see through the forest of illuminated screens.

Seriously, people. You are ruining awesome things with your iPads and phones. There is absolutely no need to record every single second of every single thing that little Johnny does. One picture will suffice. I was charged with taking some pictures for the yearbook, and we promised to share the photos with parents. Unfortunately, I was unable to get many at all. I had to sit on the floor in the front row, because so many moms and dads held their phones high. The whole time.

When I was a kid, video camera users were out of sight in the back of the theater. Sure, the cameras were the size of a lawnmower back then, but I’m sure there was some etiquette involved, too. If you’re videotaping something, you will block people’s view.

I tried to take some photos of the big ballroom so we could show others the size and magnitude of the conference. I went to the middle aisle, and it was completely blocked by moms who, despite the request to remain in the back, were taking obscene amounts of pictures.

Here’s a tip: get one good shot as a memento. After that, sit there and watch your kid. You might be surprised at how much you’ll enjoy the performance. Rather than going through hundreds of crappy photos, you can actually talk to your kid about the experience. No one wants to see that many pictures anyway. Trust me.

I know, I know. Grandma lives in Iowa and she wants to see pictures. Aunt Sassy couldn’t make it, and she’s checking her Facebook for the pics. They’ll live with one. Trust me.

Last fall, I photographed a friend’s wedding. Many of the big picture shots in the sweet little chapel by-the-sea are useless without Photoshop (which I don’t own). A young woman, part of the bride’s family, took it upon herself to video the entire ceremony. She hung her arm out into and over the aisle throughout the vows. I’m sure the bride didn’t expect an illuminated blue rectangle in her wedding album. A beach wedding I attended last summer had more iPad photographers than bad bridesmaid dresses.

I have kids, too. I understand not wanting to miss a single moment. C’mon, though. Let’s get a grip. Take fewer pictures (unless you are paid to do it, of course). You may remember more than you think. Besides, your hiney was hangin’ out of your low rises while you were crouchin’ down in the center aisle. None of us will miss that.  I may or may not have sent it in for the yearbook.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Les permalink
    March 22, 2013 10:19 am

    I comment to my husband about this all of the time. Any event we go to, especially with kids involved, or a shot of people at a concert has people looking at their phones held in the air. People are missing the entire program or show because they’re “filming” and fiddling with their phones. It drives me crazy! How about sitting back, enjoying the show, and appreciating the memory rather than worrying about getting a good video and annoying other people. And you tell me…how many people really go back and look at the majority of these videos more than once?

    • Jenny permalink*
      March 22, 2013 10:25 am

      I always wonder about the people who take videos of the sleeping bear/tiger/sloth at the zoo. Do they archive and watch them later?

  2. July 15, 2013 9:34 am

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for
    you? Plz reply as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. kudos

    • Jenny permalink*
      July 17, 2013 8:12 am

      The graphic designer at the Metro Spirit actually did it for me. Gabe is no longer there, though. Thanks for the compliment!

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