An experience for one

An experience for one: experiencing something, a moment, a thing, an event, without the need to capture, share, or post about it online.

The idea occurred to me while at my in-laws cottage enjoying the beautiful view of the lake. I should take a picture, I think; maybe share it on my blog, or on instagram, or you know, for memory sake. The last part is a lie: I got over 10,700 pictures in my camera roll that I rarely, if ever, look at to confirm.

But, I decide against it. This is an experience just for me, I think, and enjoy the view, the moment, the feeling. It’s all good.

A few days later, I am at the train station and see spilled blueberries by the escalator, poor fellow, I think. It’s quite a sight to see. I think about pulling out my phone to take a picture. I want to send it to my husband with a funny comment.

I decide against it. Let this be an experience for one too, I think. I don’t take a picture. I don’t send anything to my husband. It’s all good.

It got me thinking…

Is it still possible to have experiences one enjoys in the moment, without the need to capture, share, post or otherwise keep it recorded in the digital sphere for memory sake?

One thing is essential to our experiences in the digital age: Capture it, or it didn’t happen. Pull out phone, click-click-click, done, now that’s an experience. From the extraordinary, to the slightly out of the ordinary, and at times plain ol’ ordinary, it all needs to be photographed or filmed when noticed.

It’s almost instinctual now.

Yes, it is a very human thing to want to capture and share things, events, moments: we’ve done it for centuries. Some call it history, also known as shit that happened.

Yet, there is something quite unnerving about losing our ability to experience something without keeping a record of it. It removes any opportunity to have an experience without the digital world rearing its head, urging us to snap a picture, record a video, or tweet about it.

Some things are worth capturing, and sharing, and talking about. But when was the last time you experienced something just to yourself? You saw, heard, or noticed something without being interrupted by the thought to take a picture or video of it.

What’s more, I wonder, are we memorizing less by interrupting the experience with our devices?

Let’s say, you notice a colourful bird resting on a tree. Your instinct is to take a picture. The memory has been interrupted. What if instead you looked at it longer, took in the scene a bit better, devoured the moment; would it get logged in your memory better?

Unfortunately, the mind cannot be shared with others.

Yet, and this is important, don’t we all, or most, know what a colourful bird resting on a tree looks like? Does it need a picture to accompany it to relate to another? Can’t we just share: today I saw the most beautiful thing- a bird resting on a tree, and most people would be able to relate to that because they’ve experienced something similar.

Either way, there is something to be said about indulging in an experience without the need to keep a recording of it; a picture, a video, a post. An experience for one; a moment to enjoy for one, and maybe keep the memory longer.

Until next time,

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