We’re so worried about you that we often forget to experience.
You know what I’m talking about. The cold meal you ate because you were instagramming your animal style In-and-Out burger. The one handed catch you watched on Sportscenter’s Top Ten highlight reel because you missed it live attempting to film the game-changing moment. The conversations you bypassed with a friend you’ll only see once this year when you stopped at Chick-fil-A passing through their town on a road trip because you’re so worried about taking the perfect picture.
We miss so many moments because we care so much more about having proof.
Last weekend I went to a Ben Rector concert. My friends and I were the oldest people at the show outside of the moms who brought their 13 year olds. As I took in the concert from a spacious viewing area (zero desire to be in the middle of a bunch of sweaty high schoolers!), I couldn’t help but notice the hover of rectangle lights above the crowd.
You see, I’d guess that at any given time 65% of the audience was recording Ben’s performance rather than enjoying Ben’s performance. 65%. I took video to send a couple friends who weren’t able to attend and instagrammed my night, so I’m not against documenting.
What I am saying is I watched 1,800 people experience about 35% of a phenomenal show while they documented the rest. And for what? So other people can see how “great’ our lives are?
We so often care more about documenting for everyone else to see that we completely miss what’s right in front of us.
I’m all for pictures. I want to have memories to look back on for sure. But I also want to experience the moments and live my life. I want my burger to be warm, my games to be viewed live and my friends to be valued by my intentionality. I want to be in the 35%. And I believe we’d all enjoy life more if we focused as much on our experiences as we did on our documentation of them.
Document quickly and carry on (Ben’s playing his I Wanna Dance with Somebody cover, and it’s time to dance!),
Experiencer before documenter