By LUCY ORMONDE
Mum made me lie on the grass last weekend.
OK, I know that sounds weird. Stay with me.
It was a sunny winter Saturday in Sydney. Mum was visiting from Melbourne and we’d just been a big walk around Centennial Park, when she turned to me and demanded I hand over my car keys and iPhone.
“We’re having 20 minutes of living in the moment,” she said.
“No photos, no Twitter, no Instagram. Just take a second to breathe and relax. Lie on the ground and take in what’s around you. Just be.”
I think I get where she’s coming from. And I’m worried about me too.
A new report from the BBC suggests that smartphones are killing memories; that as society, we’ve become so obsessed with capturing moments, we’re starting to tarnish our memories of them.
Remember the old saying about stopping to smell the roses? That saying died the day Apple sold its first iPhone. These days it’s more appropriate for people to notice the roses, stop to steady their cameras, take a photo. #hashtag that photo and share it with their followers. #roses #flowers #beautiful #ugh
And that’s disappointing because a) it probably takes longer than the casual ‘stop and smell,’ and b) it contradicts everything stopping to smell the roses was supposed to mean. Right?
I worry that we’re losing the ability to completely immerse ourselves in what we’re doing, whether it’s watching TV, visiting family or catching up with friends for coffee; that we’ve becoming so lost in what’s happening on the screens that we’re forgetting to stop and enjoy what’s happening around us.
Take for example this image. The top section of the photo was taken at the end of Pope John Paul II’s papacy in 2005. The second image was taken in 2013 during Pope Francis’ inaugural address.
Spot the difference?
Do you think it’s possible that the people who were in Vatican City in 2013 were as mentally ‘in the moment’ as those in 2005? I think not. Just like you’re not 100 per cent focused when you’re texting and driving, chances are you’re not fully engaged in a situation when you’re trying to record a special moment on a phone.