What ever happened to a time where people just enjoyed the moments around them? When did we become so obsessed with sharing everything? Yes, I plan to be a photojournalist after graduating college, but I don’t feel the incessant desire to photograph or record every waking second of my life. I like to just enjoy some experiences. There is a time, a place and absolutely a limit on the ridiculous amount people share.
For example, a few weeks ago, I (unashamedly) attended a One Direction concert in St. Louis. There were estimated to be 54,000 people there — the majority being 12-year-old girls and their less-than-thrilled dads. Granted, I knew what I was getting myself into, but there is a huge difference between “knowing” and “experiencing.” As I walked into the Edwards Jones Dome, I was overcome with the sound of shrieking tweens and a bass from the speaker system so loud that I felt my stomach vibrating.
Once I finally adjusted to the noise, I was ready. I’ve had a fangirl crush on these four British and one Irish boys since their days after the X-Factor and I was ready to watch their performance live. It was obviously going to be great because they were discovered on a talent show, rather than being some loser lip-sync crew given a record deal for their looks (though their looks are a bonus).
By the time the show actually began, I, along with three other 20-somethings, had been waiting for two hours. The opening perfomer came and went, but it was finally time for the boys. Screams erupted everywhere. You’d think they’d witnessed some horrific accident, but no. It was simply the tiny figures of five boys 100 yards away.
As they began to sing, I found myself grinning like it was Christmas morning and Santa had given me everything I had on my list. I felt so stupid, but I was so dang giddy that I didn’t care. If you can imagine the feeling of seeing your favorite celebrity in person and multiply it by five, you will begin to grasp my excitement. I’ve never been into the teeny-pop fan base before 1D, but in that moment, I was infinite. Utter bliss.
Then the 12-year-old in front of me did the unthinkable. She held up her unbelievably huge cell phone/tablet and blocked my view. I haven’t felt the violent rage that slowly grew in my stomach since my ridiculous brother would kick me from our respective timeout corners behind my mom’s back. The flames in my stomach began to dance as she continued hold her enormous phone at my eye level. She couldn’t be that oblivious. I wanted to turn to her mother, but I felt pathetic getting so angry about my lack of view. So I dealt with it. Ever so often, the tween put her phone down, but only when her arms were too tired. What on earth was she going to do with 8,000 photos of the same thing? We were too far back for the photos to show any information. The only thing the camera registered were the colorful lights blinding the crowd. It was too loud to record any good audio. So why was still doing this?
What was the point? You took your crappy photos. The whole time. What did you gain? You were so focused and consumed with the idea of sharing your blurred streaks of color with your “friends” (random Facebook/Twitter/Instagram followers) that you missed the entire concert and ruined it for me.
When are we going to stop? I’ll be completely honest, I’m a hypocrite in writing this because I, too, probably (definitely) overshare, but never to the caliber that I’m hindering someone else’s experience. Life is about the experience. Not how many likes you get on your Jackson Pollock of a photo.
Angry rant over – Ellise