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Switch off: Why it’s time to live in the moment

In a world obsessed with Instagram and Snapchat, a certain philosophical question poses itself: If you didn’t post it on social media, did it really happen?

This generation grew up tech-obsessed. It’s how we stay in touch with our friends, keep updated on the gossip, and capture digital memories in our crowded camera rolls. The majority of us always have a phone in our back pocket; we depend on them like it’s a life support machine. We’re constantly plugged in, which raises the question of whether we’re fully immersed in moments while they’re happening, or if we rely on the pixelated proof afterwards.

Do we really appreciate the thrill of a concert if we’re busy aiming up the perfect shot of the stage? Are we fully fan-girling at festivals if we’re preoccupied with ensuring our 3G is working? Lighter flames in crowds have been replaced with iPhone flashes, capturing every second in a chaotic sea of flickering light. We post the proof of a great time online to make sure the world knows how much fun we had, but the reality is we weren’t even there ourselves.

I asked a friend how she would feel if all her photos from a big festival were lost. She told me: “I don’t really [post a lot online] so it’s not the end of the world, but I would be pretty gutted, because I’d spent that entire weekend making memories and then I’d have nothing to show for it or look back on.”

Another friend said: “yeah I would be annoyed but whatever. What’s the big deal, you saw the same thing as everyone else and it was the experience that mattered”. So perhaps letting our followers know what we’re up to doesn’t drive us, or perhaps we don’t like to admit it that it does. But whether it’s for keeping memories locked away in our iPhone storage, or posting it online for the world to see, very few people can deny that they keep their phone on constant standby at concerts and festivals; ready to immortalize a moment at the press of a button.

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