Taking A Lot Of Photos And Videos Of Your Kids Is A Waste Of Time

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475923351I don’t take a lot of photos or videos of my kids. It rarely occurs to me to do so, and usually that’s only because my kids have asked me to take a picture, and then I grudgingly do so. It isn’t because I don’t love my kids and don’t want to document their existence, and it’s not because I’m completely unsentimental. It’s just that nine times out of ten, taking videos and photos of your kids is a complete waste of time.

There’s a joke my husband and I make when we see parents holding their iPhones above their heads, recording every moment of the kindergarten concert. It goes something like: “Hey honey, what do you want to watch tonight? There’s the new season of House of Cards, or that movie Birdman is supposed to be really good. Wait – what about Billy’s first-grade musical from 2005? That would go perfectly with the low expectations for joy that I have in my life.”

It’s like when people record the fourth of July fireworks or the St. Patrick’s day parade – when the hell do they think they are going to sit down and watch that again? It seems like most of the time people record events as a statement to themselves and others that this something important that they want to remember. But not everything needs to be put on record. Some things are better off remembered in your mind than on your camera phone.

When my kids were babies, I took a lot of pictures because they were changing all the time. Every day something new was happening or they were doing something for the first time: their first smile, their first time at the park, the first time they wore a hat (see, I said I wasn’t unsentimental). But now that they’re seven, I save photos for things like the first day of school and the day they learned how to ride bikes. Other than that, there isn’t much pointing and shooting going on.

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