“Let Me Take a Selfie”

I have been asked occasionally by friends why I don’t take more pictures and post them on Facebook.  Previously I never had much of an answer beyond “I just don’t” that was until a recent trip to Washington, DC when a far more practical reason became clear to me.

With some time to kill my girlfriend and I took a walk through the heart of the Smithsonian and down to the monuments on its west end.  The Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool that lies between them has always been one of my favorite spots in DC, and it is a visit that I frequently try to make when in town.  As we walked past the reflecting pool I saw a number of people taking pictures however they were not standing around and snapping shots of what was going on around them.

What we noticed was selfie after selfie after selfie being taken.  Everybody standing by the reflecting pool was trying to do their best to capture a shot of themselves and everything that was going on behind them.  Some crouched with arms out stretched, and others had their Selfie Sticks deployed to help them do the job.  What I realized though as I walked past person after person was that all of these people were experiencing life, and one of the greatest places in this country, with their back to it.

I became much more aware of what was going on once we got up the steps to the Lincoln Memorial.  The view from there is incredible as you look back across the Reflecting Pool to the Washington Monument and then on to the Capitol Building at the far end of The Mall.  We were surrounded by people trying to get their picture with Honest Abe as they seemingly disregarded everything else that was around them.

To sum it up, if anybody is ever wondering why they don’t see me taking or posting more pictures it is because I refuse to live life with my back to the world.  There is far too much going on right in front of me that I would rather experience with my own two eyes rather than through the display of my smart phone.

Maybe the next generation could learn from this.  Maybe we need a couple of “no cellphone” areas that force people to experience things for themselves.  I know that a technophile such as myself would benefit from it, hopefully they would too.

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