This past weekend, my family joined my parents and maternal grandmother for a weekend at the beach. There would be sand, sun, swimming, and all around fun. What there would not be was internet. Yes, you heard me. I entered that frightening, dark side of the moon where communication is limited to something called a phone.
And it was wonderful!
Don’t get me wrong, I love the internet. I socialize on the internet. I work on the internet. And I go to school on the internet. I bounce from tab to tab, computer to phone to phone (yes two phones – long story…), on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Blogs, Class, and whatever else catches my fancy. Which is awesome. Except when it’s not.
All too often, it becomes too much. Because the internet is everywhere (except here), I am always at school. I am always at work and I am always visiting someone. The wonder of it can also become the burden of it.
But more so, I watch my life through the lens of my camera phone. Everything is “gram”-able. Each moment must be properly captured and documented. Which, again, can be terrific. But sometimes I wonder if I’m recording my life rather than experiencing.
So this weekend, I committed to leaving the computer off, putting away my schoolwork and my blog. I also, set aside that highly addictive smart phone with its camera and instant share gratification. And yes, there were moments that were dying for a photo. And I let them pass. Instead, I reveled in them, soaked in them, and truly enjoyed them.
Were they memorable moments? Yes. And that’s exactly what I will do. I didn’t stop the splash fight to grab my phone. I didn’t step back and capture Little Diva’s sand castle. It would have been so pin-able. It would definitely have caught more Google links. But if I had done that, I wouldn’t have been on the ground, hands in the sand, teaching her how to stack sand in a bucket with water and flip it just “right”. I did not interrupt the games of Life, Clue, or Guess Who? to document these family moments. I simply experienced them.
Now, lest you think your feed is going empty and you will no longer be assaulted be cute pictures of my kids, I’m not going anywhere. I love that I can track so many special moments with my children via my blog. I love that family far and wide see our lives unfold in such an easy and accessible manner. I just need to remember that it is a balance.
And that’s what I’ll do with this past weekend, I will remember.