I know there’s an easier way to do it — in the same way I know I can speak my texts — but it’s hard to teach an old Blackberry user new iPhone tricks. And so when I want to free up storage space on my iPhone, out comes my laptop and cables. Excuse me, my MacBook Pro.
I’m making room on my phone this morning in anticipation of taking some videos later this week. My youngest son has a role in his all school play. There will be 3 performances this week and so 3 opportunities for me to take poor quality, zoomed out, shaky hand iPhone videos that only a grandparent can love. I’m sure I’ll give you the chance to like them on social media too. Best of luck finding him.
As I was clearing off some videos on my phone, I couldn’t help but notice how bad so many of them were. The videos where you start recording 20-30 seconds too early and still nothing very interesting happens. The videos where you start recording too late and miss the goal or save. The ones where your subject is altogether not happy about you videoing. The ones where a random head enters your frame and obstructs your view. The ones where you try to capture a moment that has passed and it’s so..not..looking..natural.
Sometimes we do get the timing right and we are able to capture a moment. It’s rare when it happens but the authenticity of the moment makes those videos instantly shareable. This video of my son serenading me with this of-the-cuff beat box six years ago was on of those moments.
It got me thinking however that we don’t have to wait for the iPhone to be turned on at just the right moment. We are the official storytellers of our lives. We are the only ones with the full length footage and we are the only ones with exclusive editing rights on how we share our experiences. There are some bad experiences but most of our experiences have a shareable moment and it’s our job to mine it. Not just for the world, or our friends, but mostly for ourselves. We get to decide where the close ups will be and where to fade out. Your best stuff probably won’t have the Eiffel Tower in the background or you in a duet with Bradley Cooper. But it will have some gold.
It’s an awesome creative task to decide what bits to leave in and what bits to cut out. We can replay all the borings bits, or the missed opportunities, or the obstacles in the viewfinder, or the conflicts, or chose to tell the put ons rather than the naked truth. Any story finds an audience but the ones that have an impact, the ones worth sharing, are the ones where something authentic was able to shine through.
You don’t need a laptop or cable to make room in your heart, but you may need to siphon off some garbage saved in anticipation of moments ahead you won’t want to miss. And good news is you’ve got a front row seat.