We are deep into the summer now, and I find it difficult to believe how quickly the days go by. The Dawson Summer Institute finished their program with a wonderful presentation of their individual projects. I had a chance to attend the final presentations, and I was so impressed with the different topics the students had chosen to explore. One pair of girls had investigated social media and friendship, while another student explored selfies and what they do to and for our self-esteem. Another group talked about the idea that when we spend a lot of time taking photos, we don’t spend enough time actually in the moment.
That final idea intrigued me. Attend any performance at school, and you’ll see a multitude of video cameras (really mostly phones, now) being held high in the air as we watch our students perform. I notice myself not getting the chance to take in the moment as thoroughly as I might like because I am making sure to record it for posterity. We have hours and hours of video tape, but does this take away from the actual experiences?
I’m not sure where I stand on this – as I said, there definitely have been times where I wished I could simply enjoy watching my children up on stage without feeling the need to record it. And if we take hundreds, or even thousands, of pictures and videos and never actually go back to view them, then the practice seems silly. On the other hand, if we do find time to look back, it can be a lovely experience in itself. My family recently spent a good chunk of time watching old videos, and for me, watching these brought up so many wonderful memories. For my kids, they had the chance to see themselves as babies and toddlers, and to think about how they’ve become who they are today. And maybe one day, their own children will watch some of these videos in amazement that their parents were ever that young.... » read more