On photo fatigue and living in the moment
I was interested yesterday to see that a couple of French chefs have rebelled against the growing tide of self-styled food reviewers, bloggers and general foodies who insist on taking photos of every meal they order in a restaurant.
To be honest – and all respect to the serious food bloggers – it’s about time those of us not engaged in food reviews started to put the phone down, switch off the social media and get on with the enjoyable act of eating instead of cataloguing.
And it’s not just food. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get serious photo fatigue. What with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (the only three social media accounts I maintain), I feel a balance has been tipped between how much time we actually spend enjoying something these days – living in the moment – as opposed to photographing it to show others, or critiquing it on TripAdvisor.
It’s all well and good having your smart phone welded to your being – it’s great to be able to take those spontaneous pictures that really are something special – but I also think we need to harness this technology to our own advantage, and not to let it burn us out. As the French chefs said, life is not a competition measured in arty pictures of celebrity-chef dinners.
So how can we harness this technology to our advantage? I’ve started using an iPhone App called Mindfulness. I start each morning with a small mindfulness exercise and then, a couple of times during the day, my phone chimes to remind me to take a break; to breathe deeply, to put the phone down and take a moment of mindfulness. If that’s not enough, try Headspace for a daily 10-minute meditation. Honestly, kids, there are worse things to do with an iPhone…