We, as a family, are obsessed with safaris. We love the thrill, the rush and at the same time the disconnect for those 4 hours from everything else. There however is a constant intruder – the phone. The constant urge to take pictures – of documenting what we are witnessing, takes away from the experience itself. You miss nuances, you miss fleeting moments when you were looking at your phone to switch it on – you miss the yawn of the tiger in trying to set the zoom right for the picture.
After multiple such instances, I personally decided to put the phone away and immerse myself in the moment with them. From sunsets, to the children playing in the sand – from their sports day races to them dancing carefree to a tune – I have learnt to get down play with them, dance with them and create more from the experience, than take my phone out to make videos.
You must be wondering how is it possible! Well, we grew up in a world where documentation was efforted. It needed a conscious decision and that barrier of thinking, getting the camera out and having a set number of photos on a reel helped me to strike a balance.
Experiences are etched in our memories forever, who we were with, how we were held, how we rolled with laughter together, how we shrieked at the sight of the crab on the beach, how we built sandcastles – and while documentation helps reignite those feelings within, they cannot replace them.
As a parent I also feel, there is a lot of documentation our children have access to but nothing compares to hands-on experience. Sitting down with a screwdriver and opening a clock to see the clogs at work or actually watching a volcano eruption with baking soda provides a deeper sense of understanding. Knowing about snow in the minutest detail doesn’t compensate for the feeling of snowflakes on your skin.
Let's consciously fill our lives with experiences, both small and grand, for it is through these encounters that we truly grow. Documentation is a handy tool, a helper, an aide but it cannot replace experiences.