I’ve had a friend say on his status message on Facebook that if you really want to enjoy a concert, do away with your tablets, cameras and smartphones. Instead, look into the artist’s eyes when he sings, and feel every breath, every guitar strum and every drum beat while the band performs. I agree. That’s exactly why we watch concerts right? To hear the artists live and so we can witness their performance in its rawest form.
Last Saturday, I went to Up Dharma Down’s concert in Tienda del Mercado and I just smirked at the people in front of me who were so busy documenting the concert. My date and I, we just sat on our seats, ate, had minimal conversation, and enjoyed every word, every melody, every pause they make for a song. The experience was so good that the day after, I still listened to Up Dharma songs on my cellphone to reminisce that night. My date took pictures. He said they weren’t that good. But he didn’t care that much. The experience was awesome.
One time, when I went to Manila to ride SM MOA’s super big ferris wheel, The Eye, they had fireworks. Living in firework-free Davao for so long, I’ve always longed to see fireworks. On impulse, I took out my phone and started to document it. However, since the ferris wheel was moving, I had to keep my eye on my phone to make sure I get good shots. After a few seconds of looking at my phone, I told myself to screw it. I put it away and watched in awe as the 10-minute display continued its magic. The experience was so grand that everytime I remember it, my face would still light up. I never made the same mistake since then.
This may not come as a surprise to you but let me say it anyway: social media has actually diluted human experience for several people. How many times have you caught people taking pictures of their food, trying to get the best lighting, the best angle, and then come up with the best caption for it? What’s worse, if they don’t have 3G, they take time to ask the WiFi password from the staff so they can Instagram their food. Imagine how many minutes that would waste. Trust me, I’ve been with people who did this, and, in the process, ate their food cold because they spent so much time on their smartphones. Stupid.
So don’t be stupid. Watch fireworks that leave your jaw hung. Close your eyes when you listen to your favorite song. Open them to see the artists pour their hearts out to give you the best musical experience ever. Read poetry aloud, don’t just take a picture of it so you can show people that you’re “deep”. One picture of your feet on the beach is enough. Enjoy the sun and the sand, stop trying to take that perfect bikini pic or jumpshot. Nobody cares what you had for lunch. Nobody cares what color your nails are. Nobody cares about your hundred hashtags. They’ve seen your face so many times, you don’t have to show them over and over again.
Those few minutes you get just before you die, these experiences are most valuable things you can hold dear. Not likes, links or follows. Think about it and start living more.