Have you ever been struck with the feeling that something is missing or just not right – yet you can’t quite place what it is?
The other night my husband and I had this very feeling…
And we were shocked when we realized what was missing.
Every once in a while it is fun to reminisce, and the other night (after all the kids were in bed) my husband and I decided to “reminisce” by watching our wedding video.
- I shook my head in remembrance listening to my childhood friend give a fantastic maid of honor speech.
- I drew a wide smile watching my impeccable aim as I smashed our wedding cake into my husband’s face.
- And I shed a few tears seeing babies (now grown) and friends and family members (some of whom are no longer with us) sitting witness to our vows.
We were just about to backtrack and watch our rehearsal dinner when without warning…
Our nostalgia was interrupted by the sudden sound of a BING!
And instantaneously, my husband and I both picked up our smart phones.
It turned out the bing was just a text message to my husband. So, while he responded (since I already had my phone in my hand) I quickly checked Facebook.
A couple minutes later our attention was back to our wedding video. Yet then…
There was another BING!
This bing was a little different, it indicated an email.
And a quick internal debate started within my head: Should I check it? It was probably nothing important. I really wanted to watch our rehearsal dinner. But… it would only take a second…
So I checked it.
Eventually (more then a second later) I looked up.
After being redirected from the email to a blog site that then led me to a YouTube video that I wanted to watch but decided I would wait on until after our wedding video was complete.
Eventually, when I did look up, I realized (sadly) that the video of our rehearsal dinner was almost over.
Keeping Focus (embarrassingly harder than it sounds)
“Darn! I wanted to watch that!” I said out loud and I turned to my husband to asked him if we could rewind the DVD.
It turns out he had missed it too and also wanted to watch it again.
Because meanwhile, as I was checking my email, his friend had text messaged him back and he also got notified that someone new had started following him on Twitter.
So rewind we did. And (after putting our smart phones on silent mode) we settled back into the couch and snuggled up together, this time determined to keep our focus on the home movie and it’s memories.
As we sat there watching our rehearsal dinner (for the second time I’ll remind you), we both started noticing that something felt “off” about the video memory. And I will admit, that at first we couldn’t quite put our finger on what exactly it was.
What could possibly be “off” about this picture? It was a beautiful – no, wait – gorgeous evening outside and everyone was having such a good time together. In fact, in the video:
- My sisters where smiling as they were having an animated conversation together.
- A group of the groomsmen were passing a football, completely relaxed.
- Another relative was deep in conversation with family members as she bounced her young baby on her knee.
All seemingly normal things. Yet something seemed to be amiss.
The Missing Element
The best thing about home videos are that they allow us to remember a moment as an observer, as an outsider looking in. And in doing this, often you see an event from a whole new perspective.
And suddenly, as we watched this beautiful and memorable evening, we were struck with the realization of what was off – what seemed missing from the picture…
Everyone – and I mean Every. Single. Person. There. – was enjoying themselves and was focused on celebrating our impending wedding. And nobody – Not one. Single. Person. – was on their phone.
Wait. Let me pause a second so that you can take this in.
This was over a decade ago – iPhones, iPads, smart phones, did not even exist.
As we were reminiscing about the beginning of our married lives together while snuggled up watching our wedding video, we realized how much a decade can change things. Nearly 12 years ago:
- There were no intruding bings of incoming text messages interrupting conversations.
- There were no people wandering off to briefly glance at their email.
- And no one even considered “checking in” on Facebook or Twitter to let all their “friends” and followers know that they were at our rehearsal dinner.
And it seemed off.
And that’s kind of sad.
(At least it was to us.)
Leave a Comment: There are so many wonderful things that have come from technology, yet there is also something to say about the simplicity (and our focus) before all these devices were available. Sometimes I don’t feel like I do a good job balancing the technology within my own life. How do you help to balance your digital life?