I was walking through the park today and something really funny happened. A man was walking through a throng of pigeons and a couple of squirrels. One of the squirrels was following the man as he walked away. No matter which direction he walked, the squirrel followed him. The man laughed. I laughed. The squirrel continued to follow him through the crowd of pigeons.
Then, the moment crusher. The man pulled out his cell phone and started recording the squirrel to see if he would still follow him. The squirrel stopped immediately as if to say “I will not put on a show”, turned the opposite direction and scurried away. The man immediately said “Oh, so you’re gonna stop following me as soon as I try to get it on video.” I smiled politely and continued on my way.
A thought popped into my head as I walked away from that scenario—I miss moments. I miss moments I spontaneously shared with random strangers, like the one described above. I miss moments with family members on holidays or at summer barbecues. I miss moments with friends at a dinner party that only the closet friends were invited to. These moments are organic, rare and raw. It used to be that you’d only hold these moments in your memory and reminisce with those few people who were there to experience with you. Or, that you’d have a funny story to share with your colleagues at the water cooler the next day.
Moments still occur, but they are tainted with the need to capture everything on video and share it with the world. Moments are now painted with people splitting off to go take selfies, make videos and update their social media accounts. From the postings it often appears as if people were more engaged in events than they actually were when they actually spent more time posting about the event.
Like the squirrel who refused to perform for the stranger in the park, I refuse to perform as well. It’s amazing that we have the capacity to share information with people across the world. It’s amazing that we can keep in touch with family and friends who live farther than we are able to travel but something about oversharing cheapens the exchange. We no longer care what our friend’s post if they post every single thought that crosses their mind, every meal they eat and dare I say it every milestone of their child’s life. We become numb to what our so-called friends are sharing.