My husband and I often discuss putting our phones down so that we don’t miss the moment. But sometimes it’s hard for me not to want to take photos of every animal at the zoo, or catch a shot of each of the fireworks on the 4th of July, but while doing that, I’m not living in the moment – I’m very clearly planning to look back at it later. While saving photos is a great way to look back and remember moments, it might cause you to miss out on some special ones in the meantime (although, I don’t regret taking photos of the pandas!).
Just yesterday, I tweeted an infographic on taking a technology break, or “unplugging” as it is being called. Unplugging means putting the phone down and choosing people to talk to, instead of your virtual friends on Instagram. Doesn’t sound hard, but lately it seems as though our iPhones are glued to our hands. We heard a story on The Moth about parents being overly concerned with videoing their child’s school play to post on Facebook, which incidentally causes them to actually miss their child’s play as it happens.
Recently, I’ve noticed more and more that wedding guests are actively photographing and recording weddings. It’s one thing to snap a quick shot of the couple as they put rings on, kiss or head back down the aisle, but to stand up and record, or to bring your DSLR to the ceremony, that’s a little overboard. The idea of an unplugged wedding is an intriguing one. Asking guests to turn their devices off as they arrive will certainly ensure that phones don’t ring during your ceremony, and might help add bodies to the dance floor later on. What you don’t want to happen is guests getting in the way of the photographer and videographers that you’ve hired (and paid A LOT of money), just to make sure that they get the best shot.
More important than getting in front of the bouquet toss line to get a picture, is getting in the bouquet toss line to participate in the wedding activities. You might wonder if you’ll miss out on candid photos, and you might… on a few. But if you’ve done your homework and hired a photographer who knows what they’re doing, then you’ll end up with those fun shots anyway. If you still want your guests taking photos, go old school and put disposable cameras on the tables – you never know what you’re going to get with those!
If you’re following the hashtag trend and you’ve come up with a cute combination of your names to use, you can’t also ask your guests to be unplugged. It’s definitely not the choice for all, but it’s worth considering. You may find more guests up and about instead of sitting at their table trying to figure out which photo they should Instagram or walking around with their iPad.
While we didn’t have an unplugged wedding, we do aim to have at least a couple “unplugged” hours together a day. It can be tough, especially on days/nights he has schoolwork or that I work from home, or just in general when one of us feels the need to have our phone with us. I leave my phone on silent at night and turn it over just in case someone calls (that way we don’t see the light). And I’ve found myself posting more “#latergram”s than “instagrams” recently. You should try it. While having dinner, whether on the couch or at the table, try talking to the person in front of you, instead of linking up with others on social media. It will feel good, and your S. O. will appreciate it. I used the hashtag #peopleoverphones the other day, let’s try to make that happen in real life too.
Would love to hear other’s thoughts on unplugged weddings. Did you have one? Do you think you could leave your phone off for 6 hours while at a wedding?