As a photographer, I’m constantly torn between the desire to capture what’s happening around me and simply living in the moment. Sometimes this means I leave my camera at home, but I still use my phone to capture things quickly. Photographer or not, these days we all want to document what we are doing. This isn’t a bad thing! Our generation has a negative stereotype for constantly taking photos; of ourselves, what we’re eating, who we are with, and the places we go. It’s wonderful to have a visual reminder of these things, but it can easily become too much. I believe there’s a fine line between documenting life and becoming consumed with how many likes or comments we receive on our posts. If you didn’t share it, did it happen? Sometimes the answer is to simply put the phone down. But when that’s not the case, here are my tips that help me stay present when it counts.
1. Take advantage of capturing now, posting later. Is it really going to make that much difference if you post your photo a few hours after it actually happened? Absolutely not. I especially follow this rule when I go on vacation. Taking a photo only take a few seconds, but posting can eat up your time, cause you to miss other moments, and make the people you are with feel unimportant.
2. Set limits on how many times you check your social media. Do you find yourself checking up on things while you wait in line, deal with a slow computer, or to avoid social interactions? We’ve all done it. How many times does that quick check turn into 5 or 10 minutes. It adds up! Limit yourself to certain times a day and be present for the rest.
3. Turn off notifications. Seriously. That comment or like isn’t going anywhere. See #2.
4. Make an effort to leave genuine, positive comments. See something amazing? Feeling inspired? Did someone’s post leave you feeling encouraged? Tell them! If you are going to spend time on social media, why not make it a positive, social place? You can make someones day by leaving a nice comment so why not?
5. Be conscious of who you follow. Follow what encourages, inspires, and proves helpful. Leave the rest behind. I promise you won’t miss it. Always remember that social media generally showcases our highs and hides our lows. Don’t get down because someone else’s life is seemingly perfect. Trust me, it’s not. Practicing contentment and gratitude when it comes to social media will make a world of difference in how you see yourself and other’s posts. Let your feed be a place of light and positivity.