When I was an arts and entertainment editor, I couldn’t help noticing that covering any concert, play or festival — stopping to take notes and mentally write the piece — took away from the enjoyment. And sometimes I wonder if stopping to tweet, post photos or status-update that which is happening also detracts from appreciating the experiences at hand.
This Saturday, a long trip to Rochester and a very full day, was an example. The trip featured lunch with fellow Brockport grad Kelly Sabetta of Betta Book Publishing at Jay’s Diner, meeting @LoriPA of the University of Rochester, a visit to the Boulder Festival in South Wedge and the headline event of a concert by The Tragically Hip in the Highland Park Bowl. What I didn’t do was describe every part of the day on Twitter or Facebook. Oh sure, I posted some photos and did the occasional tweet, but generally doing things, being in the moment, took precedence over describing the action less than 140 characters at a time.
Earlier in the day, I was moving too fast to pause and pull out the iPhone to post. Later, the weather cooperated by not cooperating. After The Tragically Hip’s first few songs, the rain started coming down, harder and harder. Harder still is the ability to take photos in a deluge, let alone with a drenched iPhone as the rain soaked through any and every pocket. Even getting something poignant like Hip lead singer Gordon Downie choosing to come out from under the canopy to play in a downpour and show solidarity with the fans became difficult.
But you know what? There’s nothing wrong with putting away the iPhone and enjoying the concert. Which is what I did. So without all the picture-taking and tweeting and Facebooking, I could just concentrate on having fun. And perhaps that’s the way it should be.