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Making vs Capturing Memories

I love my iPhone. A lot (my husband would say too much).  But lately I’m starting to wonder if some of the things I love the most about it aren’t things I should hate about it too. What I think I love most about it is that it’s pretty much become my all-encompassing Memory Capturing Device. Whether it’s pictures or video snippets, I love that the thing I always have with me, my iPhone, also does a pretty phenomenal job of capturing the moments that just don’t happen when your posing for a picture or have thought enough to break out the video camera. I love the library I’ve built of photos and videos that capture moments of everyday life and the cute little quirks Liam is developing that we’ll inevitably use to embarrass him in front of girls he brings home (that’s any good parent’s job, right?). To me, storytelling through pictures and mementos is such a huge part of what family and childhood is all about and I love the feeling that I’m beginning to collect those things for Liam.

On other hand, I hate what it’s done to me. I’ve started noticing how often my first reaction seems to be to whip out my phone to capture a moment. I’m realizing that I’m so eager to capture memories that I seem to be starting to forget to just be there to make them.

When I think back to my own childhood, it was filled with lots of (what it seemed like at that time) torturous-ly long photo shoots that my mother insisted we take. I hated posing for pictures (and still do) but now years later find myself grateful that my mother was always the one with her camera by her side. No milestone in my or my siblings life went undocumented and I’m glad that it didn’t.

So what’s the right balance? How do you make it a priority to capture and make memories with your family?


  1. Stephany March 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    I agree with your Making vs Capturing Memories blog. I struggle with this too. I can’t even delete favorite videos and pictures off of my iphone, even after they have been downloaded to my computer. I love having those memories at my fingertips! It also saddens me as a teacher too that we can not use our iphones for pictures, to look at the weather and email our parents. I understand why (since some people choose to be irresponsible and use their phones for personal reasons). I know I could capture small and big things, just like I do at home. I don’t have to stop to find my camera and hope that by the time I find it that my child is still doing the same wonderful, new, creative thing she was doing several minutes ago. Wish there was a good inbetween.

  2. Brenda April 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    For me, this problem has decreased as the number of children in our home has gone from 1 to 2.
    Still just as adorable, but requires much more watching to keep both out of trouble. It seems inappropriate or mean to be taking pictures of one while the other is being disciplined.
    Being conscious of this problem, there are times I just don’t bring my phone with me, like when playing on the driveway or going on neighborhood walks.
    As a full-time working mom, I feel the best present I can give my children is my presence, undivided. This is what they seem to want the most at this young age.
    Motherhood will always be a balancing act, and it’s all about finding the best balance for your individual family.

  3. Kate April 1, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I know exactly what you mean. BUT — I think I’d err on the side of taking too many pictures. As you said, you’ll be so grateful for them down the road. Hopefully they will trigger fantastic memories. I guess I would listen to that voice inside you that says, “OK, that’s enough pictures. Now let’s be present in the moment here.”

    I have a slightly different problem. My son (1.5 yrs) loves my iPhone so much that it’s become difficult to take decent pictures! The moment I whip it out, he’s in tears because he wants to see himself on the camera!! Any suggestions for how to handle that one?

  4. Laura April 1, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I’ve got an iPhone 4, & find my toddler loves looking at himself taking photos, so I often let him take photos of us together as well as me taking lots of snaps of him.. just don’t forget to back them up on your pc now & again! 😉

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