These Days, Who Needs a Memory?

When I was getting married, the videographer needed baby pictures of us for the very cheesy, nineties video of our love. My father-in-law pulled out stacks of my husband. My mom said, “Just use one of your sister. You looked exactly the same.” Hmmmm. Baby books and the recording of milestones was not her thing, and now, all these years later, who cares? I’ve yet to need therapy, although some days I am just one pair of dirty socks on the kitchen counter away from making the psychiatrist’s couch, and I really don’t miss the mementos. I have enough pictures of my own kids I’ll never have time to look at.

With the advent of digital photography and now smartphones, taking pictures is easy, cheap and completely out of control. Parents are watching dance recitals through video cameras and sporting events through an iPhone. Wonderful moments are quickly ruined by the scramble to get to a recording device. And why? Most of these pictures will be lost in cyberspace, obsolete hard drives and lost handhelds. Why can’t we just enjoy the moment? What is with the obsession of capturing our children’s lives on film?

We are not very different than the generation of parents before us. They too wanted to hold onto the heartbreaking beauty of a toddler learning to walk, the hysterical antics of a 5 year old and the smile on a face after a first goal scored. They did it by focusing on what was in front of them. They filed it away in that endangered thing called memory for possible retrieval at some much later date. Maybe they’d forget the details, but that’s o.k. That is the price for enjoying the moment.

So, why are we obsessed with recording everything? Because we can.

Challenge: This Memorial Day Weekend, do not take one picture, do not pick up your phone, don’t even look around to see if anyone else is seeing what you’re seeing. You might be surprised how nice it feels to shake the dust off those old memory cells.

Seriously! This Dad is going to get a picture of his daughter as she face plants on those not so child-friendly steps. Put the camera DOWN!!

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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Doctor, mom of five and founder of Tips From Town.

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