The new way to ‘live in the moment’


One of my favorite photos in my camera roll is a picture of four friends and me standing on a bridge above the Chicago River.

It seems like the perfect photo of us. The river, the skyline behind us and the sun shining: a beautiful summer day. However, this picture isn’t any normal photo. It is a Live Photo that captured three seconds of time.

When I press and hold on my phone for those three seconds, the photo shows the five of us laughing hysterically because our hair was being pushed into our faces from the breeze. Moments like these are just one of the many reasons why I love taking pictures. These photos can help remind people of what they were feeling or thinking in that moment, and can capture certain memories a normal photo would not have.

However, I’ve heard the phrase “live in the moment” countless times, and it’s usually followed by the phrase “put your phone away.” Every time I hear this, I get frustrated. Each person’s definition of “living in the moment” is different. For some people, it means living in the present and not worrying about the past or the future. For others, it means spending quality time with friends and family. For me, “living in the moment” means taking photos.

This isn’t to say people should record every minute of their lives. Even now, people lose out on quality time with friends and family because they are glued to their phones. There’s a balance between living in the moment and being attached to a screen. It’s okay to  take photos when something is funny, surprising or beautiful. Other times, it’s important to put the phone away and just let a moment become a memory.

Taking pictures of the world around me or clicking the camera button a couple of extra times for a selfie has earned me countless sighs and eye rolls. However, I’m going to keep taking photos because they have taught me to appreciate every moment on and off camera. So, I won’t be rethinking my way of living in the moment anytime soon.