I have a question for you.
What if your travel agent offers you a deal?
To visit any place of your choice for 10 days at 70% discount but on one condition;
- You will not be allowed to click a single picture or retain any proof of that vacation.
Will you still take it?
If you are like the majority, chances are you will decline.
The reason psychologists give for such a behaviour is that, this type of vacation will only satisfy one part of our brain, the Experiencing self but with nothing for the Remembering Self to ruminate about later on.
We as human beings crave to go for a vacation or visit a new place, but more than enjoying it, we spend most of it creating proofs of the great time we have had.
Look around and you can easily differentiate between a tourist and a local. A tourist can be easily identified with her efforts at creating as many memories as possible, even if it implies compromising on the experience temporarily.
A lot of times we become a tourist in our own life focusing on accumulating memories than actually living them.
We concentrate more on clicking pictures and buying souvenirs for our self and our loved ones, so we could remember what a great holiday we have had, instead of enjoying the time, soaking in the water, speaking to the locals, tasting the food, feeling the breeze, enjoying a sunset and a sunrise.
We tend to ignore to feel the soft powdery sand as we walk, beneath our feet, the sound of the birds waking us up early in the morning, witnessing the dew drop on the leaves about to fall down and the cute expressions of a dog as we move across him.
We fail to notice all this, while remaining cocooned inside our slavish mindset of hoarding as many memories as possible.
Too many selfies can lead to a ruined experience, though compensated by our own hindsight bias we just remember the happy faces forcing ourselves to believe an experience we have never had.
Unless you are a photographer whose passion and love are for the clicks, just go for it, else, sit back, relax, hold and enjoy the moment.
One may have lesser proofs but a much better and wholesome experience.
I personally detest selfies and after a few treks, realized how I messed up my own experience of enjoying it by trying to capture to many pictures.
The last trek of mine hardly has any pictures of me, as I submitted to the request of others to click theirs while my own personal clicks were of the mountains and forest as I tried enjoying their magnanimity in the splendid sun and a never-ending snowfall.
And, yes, I don’t want to disregard the remembering self completely as that plays an important role as we get older and wish to relieve the time gone by.
So, don’t stop carrying your camera, but be mindful of what you wish to do, enjoy that delicacy on your plate or post a picture of it on social media because someone else also did the same.
If you wish to read more on these two selves, do read ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman. I have borrowed heavily from his book.
That’s one book I can read umpteen number of times, having already read it thrice.
And do share, which one are you biased towards – Remembering Self or the Experiencing Self.
Here’s the link;