I recently rediscovered an important lesson about finding happiness in the moment. There is something about being able to escape reality and expectations, even for a few hours, that is extremely powerful.
This weekend I snuck off to Chicago for the trip of a life time with my girlfriend Kori. However, as much of the story as the Instagram filters told, there was so much more they didn’t. My joy didn’t come from snapping selfies in my Oakleys from the pit of Taylor Swift’s sold-out 1989 World Tour stop or from being fortunate enough to stay at the historic Hilton Chicago on Michigan Avenue.
You see, that’s where the problem begins. We live in an instant gratification society surrounded by brand recognition. If you follow the speeches of my good friend Riley de Leòn, you will find a theme I have echoed about disconnecting from the status-driven priorities many of us have unconsciously set.
While I wish I could say I was doing this 110% in my own life, I can’t. It’s a process. I work in a digital industry and feed the social media monsters daily with the content to keep us connected. I would hope to say that I am evolving though. Rather, my priorities are changing. Kori has brought a happiness to my life that reminds me everyday some things can’t be measured in pageviews, Snapchat views, or Instagram likes.
Capturing the magic that is a Taylor Swift show was amazing. The only regret I have is not putting down my iPhone more. My favorite moment from the concert is the song that I didn’t touch my camera for and just got lost in the moment. We had the time of our lives dancing in the pit next to the stage but in hindsight I think I would have found the same joy at the top of section 444 because of who I was next to. That feeling comes from some place deeper than a ticket section, a brand logo, or a status symbol.
I leave you with a challenge. Find small ways to break the stereotype. Social media can be a powerful tool for creating connections and fostering engagement. It can also be a filter that steals us from the moments that matter. Take a step back and find the happiness in those moments.