February 18, 2015
This past weekend I attended a Drake and Nas concert in New York, as part of a client-related event. The night marked my first hip-hop concert (by admitting this, I realize I lose major cool factor, but bear with me). The concert provided an awesome time with some fellow Ponies, but I learned a valuable lesson about enjoying the moment.
Drake performed first, and as soon as he stepped out on stage, it was a blinding light of screens. Up went the phones, tablets and even selfie sticks. It felt like everyone had some sort of device up in the air to feverishly capture and share images. All of sudden, I found myself feeding into this frenzy, so my phone came out and I started snapping away.
I probably took about 30 photos of Drake while trying to make sure I had the perfect shot to share on Instagram. But I couldn’t forget about Snapchat! Oh buddy, all my friends at home needed to see my 15-second, grainy videos of Drake breaking it down.
Then Kanye West made a surprise appearance, and the crowd went nuts. My phone was out again in full force — snaps, ‘grams, tweets, I had to show everyone.
By the time Nas performed, my phone started to die, so I took a few more photos and put it away. After the concert, I kept telling everyone how Nas was my favorite performer of the night. I couldn’t get over how entertaining he was!This week I began looking through my photos from the night and checked out all my likes and comments on Instagram, and then it dawned on me – I had no idea what songs Drake actually performed or anything he said. When friends asked me what song Kanye performed, I couldn’t tell them. No wonder I thought Nas was the best — because I actually watched his performance!
I realize now I was so caught up in the crowd’s frenzy to share moments from the concert that I completely missed the full experience of an once-in-a-lifetime performance. As a social-media user, I wouldn’t describe myself as either an over-sharer or “just an observer” — I’m somewhere right in between. But I posted and shared more that night than I typically do in a month.
There’s certainly something to capturing and sharing unique moments with friends on social media, but why did everyone feel the need to have their phones out the entire concert? How can you fully take in a performance if you’re busy adding just the right filter, or making sure you’re sending to all the right people on Snapchat? Isn’t it more important that you get the full experience of the performance than trying to share snaps of moments with friends? The lesson I learned is that I value the latter.
So, next time I’m at concert or a really unique experience, I’m putting my phone away.
Besides, I think the real stars of my Instagram account are these guys.