Like most parents, I have a sizable archive of family photos and videos. The majority are stored digitally, and they chart most significant moments from Helen’s birth onwards.
With the arrival of smart phones, it’s never been easier to plot every moment of your children’s life. I, for one, remain to be convinced this is a good thing.
That may sound like an odd thing for a blogger to say, especially a daddy blogger, but more than ever I see parents living their child’s life via the screens of their smart phone. It’s a slightly detached way of doing things. If you’re filming what your child is doing, you’re concentrating on what you’re recording, not the event itself.
I saw a classic example of this at sports day recently. I noticed that each time one particular child participated in an event, his dad went right to the front and recorded every single moment of his kids’ races.
I simply couldn’t figure out why he’d want to do that. Oh and there’s the small matter of this guy getting in the way of everyone else’s way.
Sure, a couple of snaps or 30 seconds of video footage is one thing. I think we could all be forgiven that, but for the entire event this kid will have seen his dad staring at his phone instead of watching the races.
It is, of course, unfair to single out one person. There were plenty of other people recording what was going on, even though they weren’t really supposed to be. It’s also something I see at gymnastics competitions, school plays at the park and so on.
Getting back to the matter in hand, my mind boggles at the amount of data it must use up when mums and dads record so much of their kids’ lives. Imagine recording every family gathering, school event and family day out. Anyone who does that must have weeks and weeks worth of video footage and I’d bet much of it is very dull.
I recall, many, many years ago, we went on a family holiday to Spain. My stepdad borrowed a friend’s video camera as he was considering buying one.
I was rather excited at this prospect but when we returned, I overheard him telling someone it hadn’t been worth it. I’ll paraphrase, but he said most of the footage had been incredibly boring and my hopes that we’d soon own a family video camera were dashed.
Do I record what my kids get up and take pictures of them? Of course I do, but I do it sparingly.
Just because technology enables you to record every single moment, doesn’t mean you should. In most instances, less is definitely more.
Where do you stand on this issue? Do you feel sad when you see mums and dads documenting every moment of their kids’ lives instead of living the experience? Maybe you think I’m wrong. Whatever your thoughts, feel free to comment below.