Screening Your Life Away

Recently I went to the Del Mar Fair and it was awesome. $2.00 got me exclusive access to see a really big horse (worth it), I had a gooey delicious cinnamon roll, and then got to see Switchfoot live in concert. It’s absolutely amazing to me that such complex rides, exhibits and games can all congregate and function in such a short period of time. Sure, the rims on the basketball hoops are so bent they’re impossible to make, and most of the rides should require signing a waiver before partaking, but there’s something truly magical about the fair.

It’s been a couple years since I’ve been to the fairgrounds, but something this year was distinctly different. There were tons of extra lights, but they weren’t coming from the food trucks, rides or exhibits; they were coming from everyone’s hands.

Everywhere I looked, there were bright little phones. Recording videos, SnapChatting, Facebooking, Instagramming: insert popular app here.

The human eye is undoubtedly one of the most amazing of God’s creations; able to visualize the world in a more complex way than technology will ever be able to, yet repeatedly I saw a conscious choice made in favor of a 4.7 inch screen.

It makes me wonder about my own ambitions behind going places and doing things. I love being active, and going to fun places, but if I don’t get a picture while I’m there, and post it to some platform, I almost feel like I didn’t complete the experience.

Why Is that? To me it seems like a deep human need for others to recognize us. In the past, this attention was received and exchanged via face to face experiences, we now have a larger platform to promote ourselves. We have handfuls of mediums to upload our experiences and be praised by people we haven’t seen since high school, or interacted with since sophomore year of college.

Did you go backpacking through Switzerland to experience another part of the world, or did you go to get some serious Instagram likes? It sounds ridiculous, I know. Of course you went somewhere great to experience it, but it almost seems like there’s such an effort to get that perfect picture uploaded that it distracts from the reality of where you are. Did you go there just to brag that you went there..or did you go there to educate yourself and create lifelong memories?


I don’t think it’s bad to take pictures. I do however think it’s unfortunate when I don’t take the time to stop and allow myself to be fully immersed in the moment. It’s a heart issue when I have an ambition to prove I was somewhere rather than appreciate the opportunity to be there.

It’s funny, immediately after I finish writing this, I’m going to post it on social media. How hypocritical! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to completely stop the love affair I’m in with technology, but I’m certainly going to take more responsibility for my internal motives behind why I post what I post.