In my last post, I described my visit to Disney World. One of the points I didn’t mentioned was before every show, an announcement was made that no recording or flash photography could take place during the performance. It was music to my ears. It seems in the past few years, everyone is recording every event that occurs in their lives. This all started with the invention of the video camera. Now with cell phones, iPads, YouTube and other social media, the world has become one giant movie.
We waited for the parade in the Magic Kingdom one afternoon during our trip. People were polite and courteous while standing along the road. When the parade reached our area, a women standing next to me kept sticking her elbow in my side. She had her iPad up in the air in order to record the whole parade. In my passive aggressive way I refused to move over. I’m sure she didn’t appreciate the clapping and calling out of the names of characters as they went by, but I didn’t care. I was enjoying the moment with my kids and wasn’t going to stifle my fun for someone documenting their entire day.
Before we had kids, and had two incomes, my husband and I went on a cruise to Alaska. The only way to get from location to location is by boat or air since the state does not have many roads of connection. We noticed that while the boat was moving, the crowds were nowhere to be seen. It was us and about 12 other people wearing parkas observing the wonderful landscape. When the boat stopped, the people came out of the casino, the pools, and the food and play areas, and took sudden interest in the sites. At the time video cameras were the means of recording, and they came out in force. Tripods were set up, people jockeyed for the best position, and it was taped for remembrance. When the show was over, the people disappeared. My husband commented that that those people were experiencing Alaska through a 2 inch screen.
I often wonder what children think when their parents tell them what to do for the camera. Many times they want a reenactment of something a child did spontaneously. They tell them not only what to do or say, but how to do it. Most kids I know don’t repeat what you want them to do when asked. This causes many parents to become exasperated because they can’t capture that precious moment. Maybe these kids are onto something. I remember a movie called Truman starring Jim Carrey. Unbeknownst to Truman, his whole life was being monitored, and a live feed was blasted across televisions nationwide. Everything around him was set-up to provide the drama. People, buildings, and events, were planned to create a kind of documentary reality show. When Truman found out, he walked out and said goodbye.
I have a video camera. I film my kids a few times a year. Most of it takes place the backyard, or the house of mine and other family members. I don’t feel like I can fully experience what is going on around me if I have to keep focus through a screen. So much time during the total happening is lost. I know I am old school, but I prefer still photography. There is something captured in a moment that I find quite satisfying. A facial expression, the time of day, the surroundings, the people grouped together, the memory of time and place. It is nice to have some photos and videos as remembrance, but the best movie of all is the one that plays out in our heads. The memories we hold of loved ones, events, and life in general. My grandmother said it best. Once at a wedding, she couldn’t get over the number of photos that were being taken. She commented…”All these pictures. You only need one.” How right she was.