Nothing is real until it is on Facebook.

That’s what we say every time we check in or share a photo of something essentially meaningless on any form of social media. We record what we eat, who we meet, where we drink. Everywhere, at every event (and non-event) phones are out taking what are mostly meaningless photos which will never be looked at again.


I think that sometimes this insistent need to record record record means that we do not live, experience, see and enjoy what we are actually doing. We are too busy recording and sharing it with people not there to enjoy it with the ones who are.


At the Johnny Clegg concert I saw a perfect example of this. The woman in front of us recorded most of the show on her blackberry. Not well enough for it to be destines as a bootleg copy of the show, but enough for her not to have actually looked directly at any of the action on the stage directly. She watched it all through her tiny little screen.

When she lost the image of Johnny Clegg in her screen she frantically moved it about, searching for him, desperate for his to reappear on the screen, when all along he was right there on stage.


The pinnacle came when he sang Impi and the entire audience leapt to their feet and danced like crazy. The entire audience barring one. She stood but holding her phone in one hand, recording recording recording. She couldn’t dance because that would have jiggled the phone. So she waved her other arm from the elbow down only, very gently. Like the queen waving.


So what happens when she gets home? Does she ever look at her bad recording again? Dvds of the concert are likely to be on sale eventually if she wants to watch it again and none of her friends really want to watch a bad recording of an hour long concert on a blackberry.


So rather than actually BE at the show, she recorded it so that later she can maybe look at what she would have seen had she watched it in the first place


I don’t get it