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Are We Forgetting To Live In The Moment While Digitising Memories?

How do we preserve special moments? Capture in your mind, says one generation, while the other pulls out a smartphone and traps the moment forever. Which one are you?

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Rudrani Gupta
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Whenever we witness a moment that makes us feel special, relieved and happy, we want it never to end. Whether it is sharing a coffee with someone special, sitting near the waterfall, staring at the valleys and mountains, celebrating special occasions or just having dinner with the family- any moment can make us feel special. However, unfortunately, time doesn't wait. If something has started, it will come to an end. Then, how do we preserve the moment? Capture in your mind, says one generation, while the other pulls out a smartphone and traps the moment forever. Which one are you?

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Many philosophies have been woven around the idea of living in the moment. Some think the present is all one has while others believe the present is just a bridge between the past and the future. No matter what your belief is, we all enjoy a special moment. As someone said live like you're going to die tomorrow, we feel the same when we witness a special moment. But conflict arises when it comes to capturing the moment. None of us want to forget the moment but due to the clamour of life, it does hide in a corner where we rarely visit. So, how can we create memories? How can we remember the moment forever? 

The generation that transitioned from no camera to smartphones

Pradeep Kumar Gupta, a 50-year-old businessman loves nature. Being surrounded by trees, mountains and waterfalls heals him and gives him peace. His love for nature came from his days in school. He says, "When I was in school, our teachers used to take classes by the river bank. We used to sit on the benches made of stone and listen to the teacher. Sometimes, we even went for birdwatching. Our teacher taught us to observe everything and live in the moment." Pradeep still remembers those days and has preserved them as the memories of his life. 

Even today, he prefers living in the moment rather than posing for the camera. "Recently, I went to Leh Ladakh with my family. Even though my family was busy with clicking pictures, I sat in a corner and just looked at the mountains. I think clicking pictures ruins the idea of living in the moment. Those moments are not gonna come back." 

Neha*, a 47-year-old working woman from Bihar shares the same view. She is never inclined towards clicking pictures or posting them on social media. Neha likes to live in the moment and if there is a possibility of a family picture, she doesn't deny it. 

Coming from an age when cameras were not as famous as today, certain generation finds it difficult to connect with the present times. They might adjust to a new lifestyle but some things are better unchanged. The preference to living in the moment and slight to no inclination towards capturing memories is not only rooted in their upbringing but also the desire to keep the child in them alive. 

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However, some people, belonging to the same generation, have started adapting to the new practices. And they are having fun!

Aarti* a 43-year-old homemaker from Bengaluru says that she doesn't belong to her generation. "Whenever I go somewhere or do something special, I not only live the moment and enjoy it to the fullest but also pose for the camera. The reason behind the photos is to keep the moment alive. Later, when I want to revisit the money, I can see those photos and smile." 

Aarti is active on social media too. She frequently posts pictures, videos and reels. But why? "I like doing that. I want to become a vlogger so being camera-friendly and active social media are parts of the process."

Rupa, a homemaker from Bihar, also likes vlogging, although she doesn't want to pursue it as a career. Whenever she goes on trips, kitty parties or even yoga, she makes videos, clicks photos and posts them on social media. She loves the new generation and is actively adopting its obsession with social media. 

The generation that shifted from cameras to handy smartphones

Moving on to the next generation which not only saw the cameras but also the smart phones. People of this generation have seen the shift from storing photos in albums to keeping them safe in Google accounts. So does this generation believe in the idea of living in the moment? Or is more inclined towards capturing it and creating memories? 

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Sameer Singh, a 26-year-old Statistical Analyst likes clicking photos and posting them on certain social media platforms. But when asked whether he has forgotten to live the moment, he said, "No, it is how you take it." He further added, "Clicking pictures is also important. Sometimes, we look back at these pictures and can relate to how far we have come. Some or the other memory is there between these pictures." 

Charvi Kathuria, a 29-year-old LinkedIn Specialist, firmly agrees with the idea of living in the moment and experiencing everything. She said, "I like to enjoy the moments without taking pictures. When I am fully present, I can use all my senses to experience everything around me." She further adds, "Pictures only capture what we see, but being in the moment lets us feel, smell, hear and taste everything happening around us. "

Charvi doesn't like posting pictures on social media. She has only two posts on Instagram. She said, "I don't want acquaintance to be privy to my happy moments. I would rather meet them and tell them about my experiences than post on social media." 

Mansi, a 25-year-old Senior Audit and a budding entrepreneur too is not very active on social media. She believes in living in the moment but doesn't mind clicking a few photos. She said, "I just click one of two pictures if I remember just for the sake of memories so that I can revisit them." Mansi believes that every picture tells a story. However, she firmly said, "I don't forget to live or enjoy that particular moment. My focus is never on rolling the camera and being fixated on the phone." She concludes by saying, "Just being there is more important. If I like it and if time permits, I will surely take a photograph."

Clearly, this generation is more inclined towards experiencing the moment rather than capturing memories. Despite the availability of social media and cameras, people of this generation are prioritising living rather than being fixated on creating memories. What could be the reason? Is it to avoid the obsession with the social media platforms and its validation? Is it to make real life more interesting rather than the reel life? Or is it just because the generation is still not able to bridge the gap between their 90s and the current 21st century?

Whatever may be the reason, the fact is that living in the moment has not died yet. People are still trying to consume the moment as a human rather than capturing it in smartphones which have much less life than humans. What if tomorrow your phone hangs, breaks or gets stolen? Will the memory stay if you didn't live in it and kept on adjusting the camera angle? 

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The generation of the digitalised age

Then, comes the generation who is on the verge of entering social media platforms- the teenagers. Nowadays, with the increased availability of smartphones and the digitalized world, it is common for teenagers to be exposed to devices and even social media. So don't be shocked if teenagers are obsessed with clicking pictures. Let's see what they say.

Gaurav Mishra, a 13-year-old student in class 7, has a cellphone of his own including laptops and tabs. However, he neither likes clicking pictures nor does he like being on social media. He is already conscious about his smile and teeth and thinks he doesn't look good in pictures. 

Aryan Wagh, a 15-year-old student in class 10, too doesn't like clicking pictures. He thinks he looks good but feels uncomfortable because for him clicking pictures is 'girlish'. He too has cell phones and access to a laptop and tabs.

Both teenagers run away when someone tries to click their pictures. They forcibly pose during birthdays, visits to special sites or monument tours. But they both believe in living in the moment and hate when others pause the trip to take photos. 

Astonishing, isn't it? The budding generation of the digitalised world is running away from cameras and social media. This generation too believes in living the moment rather than posing for cameras. Maybe, their adulthood would be different, but the fact that living in the moment is alive even among teenagers of today is quite a head-scratcher. 

Are people forgetting to live in the moment while creating memories?

Apparently, not. Some people might be inclined towards clicking a lot of photos, vlogging and posting them on social media. While others are into enjoying the moment to the fullest without worrying about the camera roll. However, both categories have one thing in common- creating memories. Whether they live in the moment or not, they want to capture it and revisit it whenever they want. 

Personally, as a 27-year-old, I don't like clicking pictures. I was even against posting my photo as my display picture. I don't like showing to people what I have been through- be it a good moment or a bad one. But yes, I use the memory of those moments stored in my mind to create write-ups which subtly convey my experience. If people decode, great! If not, things are still in my hands. Write-ups are not as vivid as photos. So even if you understand the words, you can't precisely visualise the reality. So, my experiences always remain secrets. 

So, whatever your inclination is, just remember to not forget the happy moments. In the end, happiness is all that matters.  

Views expressed are the author's own. 

 

social media generation gap happiness memories
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