Content Creation or Compulsion?

 "My phone is like my hand" —   Psychology Today

"My phone is like my hand" — Psychology Today

Hi everyone!

I’m feeling refreshed and energized after spending a week in the mountainous air! It was amazing to see the kids experience ponds, lakes, and wild animals in the great outdoors. Young kids are creatures themselves though and thrive in their routines more than anything… just ask me how many times I ran up the stairs in the middle of the night to soothe “strange dreams”...

Our family made tons of memories and I wouldn’t change a thing about our time together‚ especially because I practiced “taking pictures with my eyes” (and not my phone) as my husband constantly reminded me. [eye roll emoji]

Here’s why...

We’re running down a dusty trail, freshly selected twigs and pinecones in hand. Max is running fast and Amelia is falling behind. The sun is shining brightly on Lake Siskiyou, creating a golden glittery effect on the still water. It’s gorgeous. Max stops running to grab Amelia by the hand and help her along. My heart soars with pride. I reach for my phone to steal a photo.

You’ve probably seen me do this. Maybe you do this too.

Such a beautiful moment… and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to capture it, to help it live forever, to want to share it with others. Unless — unless the act of taking out, fumbling with, and then separating myself from my kids with said phone takes away from the actual experience.

Sometimes, looking away for a second to grab your phone makes you miss the sweetest moments. Often, missing the shot causes frustration. There’s the attempted re-enactment. “Look at Mama! Look at me, kids! Hey! Do that thing again! Yoohoo!” They stop looking cute. They stop living, and look at me. How weird. How common.

You’ve read I’m a self-described documentarian. I LOVE and truly value old photos of literally everything. I look at photos I took “this day last year, five years ago, seven years ago” every.single.day and relive micro-moments in pure wonder and amazement. “Wow! Look how tiny he was! I remember that shirt! What happened to it?!” But how much documentation is too much? It wasn’t until this trip I became conscious of how often I reached for my phone, that I had to ask myself — am I creating content or am I a compulsive nut-job?

The short answer is: I’m both. I’m always dreaming up ways to preserve and share moments in time, but it has also become too much. When my three year old reaches the top of the jungle gym and immediately asks me to, “take a picture to share with auntie,” I know it’s too much.

And here’s the other thing: sometimes, I’m not even taking photos for myself. There is a small piece of me that’s taking them for YOU to prove that I have a life.

In today’s digitally driven world, we have a tendency to think people will assume something’s wrong if we don’t post every day… and that’s simply not true.  [tweet this to remind someone!]

Everyone is so busy portraying their own best lives on social media, that sometimes we feel we’re living under a microscope when we’re not.

Now, I’m on one end of the spectrum, but most of my clients actually have the opposite problem. They struggle with knowing how and when to capture more of their personal lives to share on their business accounts. For these clients, I help to create queues in their everyday life to remind them which moments or scenes are worth sharing. No matter where you are on this photo-sharing spectrum, it’s all about finding a balance that works for you.

In a comment below, let me know where you stand on the spectrum. Are you a compulsive photo snatcher like me or are you a head scratcher desperately trying to imagine what kind of micro-moment is post-worthy? Here’s hoping you’re somewhere in between!

Until next time,

Rachel