Last weekend I and a couple of thousand other people gathered in a high school gymnasium in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and watched our children and friends perform.
But how did we watch?
This is how--from a small screen.
Now, I can comment on this because I'm one of the biggest offenders of this new way to watch life. I do it all the time. When my daughter's team danced, I was right down there with them, with camera in hand trying to be as steady as possible, hoping to get a video worthy of preservation. I could justify my actions by saying that I was filming the dances because my wife and the rest of the family couldn't make the trip. I needed something to show them so they could see what I saw.
But that's not completely true. I had friends at the event who videoed the same dances. I could easily have had them send me copies. I wonder if I'm beyond that. I wonder if I had put down my camera as my daughter took the floor, would I have enjoyed the experience, or would I have been thinking about how I was not getting it on video?
I included another picture, this one of a friend who teaches and who had several teams at the same event--he's in the pink shirt. I love the look on his face--it communicates so much, the determination of watching his kids perform, that intense focus. It shows the dedication of a good teacher, a good mentor. He can use the video he's taking to better improve his kids. He can see what's worked and what's not working. It helps him in ways that teachers could not have imagined generations ago.
So, is our new way of experiencing life a bad thing? I suppose it depends on the situation. But I wonder, what if an EMP hits and fries every electronic device we own and we have to start over, will our lives be as full as they are now, or will they be fuller? That's an interesting question.