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What Matters More: The Moment or The Selfie?

What Matters More: The Moment or The Selfie?

 Let me ask you a question. What’s more important to you: soaking up the moment or taking a selfie?

I’ll throw a wrench into the equation: you don’t have to pick one.

Yep, that’s right. Contrary to what some may believe, you can in fact enjoy the moment and take a selfie. What a time to be alive.

Should we be concerned that others are concerned with taking pictures of themselves? That they have control over the perception of themselves? That documenting our lives in pictures is important to us? That sharing it on social media matters? Is it a sign of vanity? of narcism? of self-love? Where do we draw the line?

I love selfies. In fact, I am very pro-selfie. I have no qualms with selfies other than I don’t take enough of them. I don’t think snapping a few (or even many) selfies is a problem. Taking selfies doesn’t make a person any more vain than having someone come to your house and paint you while you sit in the same position for over five hours. It’s just quicker.

Some people seem to think that taking a few selfies means you aren’t enjoying the moment.

That we spend more time documenting, creating photographic evidence that we were somewhere and did something rather than enjoying what’s right in front of us.

I don’t think that’s true.

In these instances, I think the problem is applying our own perceptions and opinions to others is the problem. We see someone take a selfie with a famous piece of artwork and move on. We assume they don’t care about the artwork, haven’t let it affect them, haven’t taken it in. The truth is, no one has to do that. We don’t have to care about everything. What matters to one person doesn’t necessarily matter to another. That’s what makes this world so great.

Speaking from a personal point of view, I try to balance taking in the moment with taking as many photos as I can. One of my goals for this year was to take more pictures. By my standards, I’ve succeeded.

What Matters More: The Moment or the Selfie?

Frankly, I don’t intend to look back on my life and wish that I had taken less pictures.

Taking a picture of myself and a beautiful landscape or a piece of artwork doesn’t mean I enjoyed the moment any less than I did if I hadn’t done that. Instead, I get the chance to have these pictures, to look back and remember moments I may have forgotten otherwise.

Two years ago I went to a show on Taylor Swift’s RED Tour. I looked forward to this show for months and was lucky enough to end up with pit tickets. The experience was incredible and you can bet your bottom dollar that I took a ton of photos. When the time came for Taylor to sing “All Too Well,” she sat down at her piano and I felt a sense of calm. I put down my camera. I soaked it all in. Taylor cried, I cried, and it was incredible. I didn’t watch her performance through a camera lens, but with my eyes.

Two years later and I wouldn’t go back and change that decision. But even if it’s not exactly the same, I’m still glad I can relive it on YouTube. I’m glad someone made the sacrifice for their fellow Swifties.

Taking selfies or not is a personal choice. You can take some selfies and still enjoy the moment. It isn’t about having one or the other, in this case you can actually have your cake and eat it too.

You can document and enjoy. You can share and be.

Watching a person snap a selfie or seeing it on your Instagram feed only shows one aspect of that person, in one slight moment. In this case, would it be gratuitous for them to write about their experience? Does it make them any less “in the moment” if they are spending their time crafting prose in their mind while gazing out on the Grand Canyon?

I think it comes down to balance. Don’t let your life pass you by or see the world through a camera lens 100 percent of the time. I don’t think we should poke fun at people who like selfies, either. I encourage you to selfie responsibly and do it in a way that doesn’t make you feel like you’re missing out on your life.

Don’t let the opinion of others affect you. At the end of the day, it’s about how you want to remember and experience your life. The memories you made are yours alone, along with the people who are involved in it. Get yourself a canon camera 7d mk ii body and lens and take photos of moments you want to remember while cherishing each moment.

Take a second, take a selfie, and don’t forget to enjoy all the little moments along the way.

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About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.