At my daughter’s preschool Christmas presentation, the kids sang a few songs for the visiting parents and family members. I spent much of it behind my video camera, and it occurred to me that I’m crazy to be missing this. I should put the camera down, enjoy it and see it bigger than by my 1.5-by-2-inch camera screen.
I think this can be said of many of us today, especially on vacation. How many people stop watching a visiting dolphin off the boat to run and get their camera, only to realize they missed the dolphin’s short visit? Or take pictures of a landscape from the car window without getting out and feeling the sand under our feet and taking in the panoramic view?
We want to preserve the memory for ourselves or our family, and, of course share it with others, but are we missing out in truly engaging in the beauty of the moment?
[quote type=”center”] This makes me wonder: Are we experiencing Tortola for ourselves or for the masses? [/quote]
Funny enough, pulling out the vacation slideshow has a reputation of being a social faux pas. And many a joke or a movie’s staged milleu was created to showcase a social unawareness by the characters whipping out the vacation photo reel to unsuspecting guests. I suppose today Facebook can sometimes be the modern-day cramped and darkened living room with the sheet on the wall.
In fairness, you have a choice to click or not to click. If you are only going to see only 4 of my 436 Grand Canyon pictures, you must see the ones with my best smile and nicest hair and maybe a few of that great gulf behind.
Sociologists Hui-Tzu Grace Chou and Nicholas Edge at Utah Valley University interviewed 425 undergraduate students about their happiness and that of their friends in relation to Facebook. It showed seeing happy posts by friends made the study participants feel that their friends had better lives than they did or that life was unfair. These beliefs were reported as more compelling, the more hours that they spent on Facebook.
Facebook is a powerful tool, useful for social media, great for sharing a cause, selling a car or finding an old friend. But it is also a tool to create – to give an image of what our life is in a carefully-composed way.
And I suppose that is the point. We don’t want to post our “sad selves” to the world. We want to post the best. So you see the best and maybe even “like” the best of us. I was recently told by a friend that if she likes a guy, she will often post very selected pictures in an attempt for him to A) notice and B) comment or press like. She calls it “fishing for likes.” How many pictures are taken or videos recorded for the posts?
We need to put the camera down. Savour the moments and ask yourself:
Am I busy living each moment in the Virgin Islands or am I busy taking pictures of the moments here?
Probably the most recognizable place in the BVI, The Baths boasts some of the most beautiful natural beauty on the planet. The volcanic boulders that dot the Virgin Gorda beaches provide a unique playground for the thousands of visitors that travel to the location each year.
The tiny sandy outposts are popular with charter boats that bring visitors that strive to find that picture-perfect Corona commercial location.
The shot that tells your facebook friends that you are physically at the paradisiacal location in your photo. I prefer the perfectly framed shot of Jost Van Dyke from Smuggler's Cove.
From Ridge Road or Tortola's lush hillsides, it's hard not to stop and take a picture of the territorial capital from above.
The balcony photo allows you to snub your nose at the non-paradise-living society and say, "That's right. I live here. RIGHT HERE."