Are we more busy clicking pictures than enjoying life’s special moments, asks Shilpa Agarwal

Most of us have a photo junkie inside or around us who is lost in the shutterbug world wherever they go. A birthday party feels incomplete if there aren’t atleast a 100 photos taken. Tilted faces, pouting selfies in hotel bathrooms, planning un-photographed outfits to wear, huge disappointments at blurry photos are things which we see often.

When people meet casually for coffee they don’t understand the purpose of it until it is photographed. Many times photos tend to take precedence over the people with us and an inordinate amount of time is spent clicking multiple pictures in similar poses or planning the next picture. Our lives are being documented to a degree like never before and we’re getting obsessed with accumulating experiences in photos now. Dozens of photos clog our phones and hard drives which we barely even look at later.

On social networks also we find pictures clicked for insignificant reasons such as showing off a new crop top with the latest accessory, or how many friends attended a party or to show off the new car your dad gifted.

A photoholic earlier, Nikkita Gulechha, 24, lives more in the present now. “I realised I was missing out on the actual fun of meeting friends when clicking all the time and only used the many pictures to change the display on social networks. It hurt me when I noticed other people taking pictures obsessively and not paying attention to me and it dawned that I do the same to others. It was liberating to see a few friends of mine not bothering to take even a single picture and later recollecting all the moments that went by with such pleasure, while I had nothing to share but pictures which spoke no stories and had no meaning.”

It’s weird to stop every five minutes when you are on vacation trying to turn every moment into a photo opportunity. To revel in a sunset is more enriching than to experience it from behind a phone screen. The beauty of the moment passes in the pursuit of a perfect shot and we end up reducing a great experience into an average one. When we are so busy fumbling with electronic devices or trying to capture that perfect shot, not only do we put a screen between ourselves and the experience, we also put it between ourselves and the people we’re with. 

To appreciate, observe and connect to the precious moments of your child’s life does more to your relationship than having photographic evidence of his/her every move. It also makes a child increasingly self-aware at a very young age as even we adults act differently around cameras.

Instead of recording at a concert our hands should joyfully dance in the air. Relinquish the desire to constantly capture, instead savour the moment.