Experience Nature, Don’t Instagram it.
Studies show that getting out into nature is good for your mental as well as physical health. Making the time to participate in outdoor activities (or just be) is increasingly important as societal trends find us leading ever-more sedentary lifestyles.
At the same time, we find ourselves increasingly tethered to our smartphones – with social media apps incessantly demanding our attention. Whether it be a vacation, day outing or a lunch taken in the local park, many of us feel a pull towards a “status update”, or to post pictures to our Facebook or Instagram feed.
We’ve all been there I venture: at a popular sightseeing spot, people pull up, take few photos, post them, and then hurry back to the car/bus for the next image-capture opportunity.
In this mode of being, especially when it comes to time in nature, I think we are in danger of missing the point. We don’t appreciate the view, nor truly experience time in proximity with interesting plants and animals. Are we really seeing the sky, if it’s only through a camera lens?
Taking photos can be a way to live the outdoor moment. What makes the difference in terms of impact, it seems, is intention. If you take the photo for yourself or friends and family, it can help bring you into mindfulness. If the intent is to share for wide approval – especially publicly – then the impact is likely negative.
Beyond that, consider making excursions into wild places or green spaces where the camera or smartphone is left behind. Drop the obligation. Experience, instead of capture-for-later. Notice your other senses, thereby ensuring you gain the benefits from exposure to the natural world.
Our contributors have taken many photos over the years – sometimes too many, no doubt 😉. They can be accessed from the top menu. We hope you enjoy them.