Entertainment And News

Man Explains Why He Thinks People Who Always Record Everything With Their Phones Are A Huge Problem

Photo: Aliaksei Skreidzeleu, gilaxia | Canva
People at a concert with their phones out recording, man in the middle living in the moment

A man under the TikTok account @wisespade7 made an interesting point with a video that he recently uploaded, touching on a subject that has been up for debate for years ever since phones have become more technologically advanced. The video included several clips of incredible moments that were recorded, and he claimed that the video itself was a tribute to those people who “just hold their phone up on everything.”

He claimed that it’s dangerous to instinctually record everything with your phone.

The first clip isn’t exactly dangerous — it’s a popular clip of a squirrel flying out of a tree that’s being cut down. However, he still takes issue with it because of the nature of the situation, claiming that the squirrel could have been physically harmed by the fall despite their ability to fall from great heights unscathed. Likewise, the workers probably never expected the squirrel to fly out in the first place.

It becomes much more apparent what the man’s argument is during the second clip when the side of a mountain appears to be falling off completely. As the massive boulders and chunks of land depart from the cliff face, debris is sent flying, and plumes of smoke billow toward the overlook where several men stand recording the natural disaster.



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“To put it into scale, look how small that [excavator] over there looks,” he explains. “This is extremely dangerous.” One thing to note is how all three men in front of the cameraman are recording. They back away slowly, taking small steps away from the situation happening in front of them as the danger looms ever closer at a rapid pace. Instead of putting their phones down and getting away from the danger, they decided that recording it was more important, and although the captured moment is incredible, it certainly isn’t worth risking their lives over. As he jokes, “the video cut off because they're probably dead.”

The third and final video is one of an avalanche that’s coming down far away on a distant mountain — but it’s not quite as far as it seems. The beautiful moment was captured by Harry Shimmin, a British tourist who was trekking in Kyrgyzstan and decided that he knew he would never be able to outrun an avalanche.

During an interview with This Morning in July 2022, he explained that there was nowhere for him to run and that all he could do was enter the cover that he already knew was right next to him, making the best out of a bad moment. Despite his miraculous survival, it’s clear that there’s a bit of danger involved in instinctually recording everything, but it has also become a debate about living in the moment as well.

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It's argued that people who record everything don’t know how to live in the moment.

This argument becomes especially relevant when it comes to the concert and live music scene. If you’ve ever been to a big concert and decided to have a look around, you’d probably be able to see thousands of lights in the crowd coming from the dim light of a cell phone — people are recording the concert. This is something I’ve thought about myself for some time, and never really understood until I recently went to a concert for a group I hold dear, but most people will still argue that in order to get the full experience, you have to put the phone down.

Thanks to two of the largest names in pop going on monumentally successful tours this summer, the conversation has resurfaced once again. According to TODAY, Beyoncé’s “Renaissance World Tour” and Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” accounted for nearly 40% of StubHub’s total global concert sales over the summer.

The results of a recent YouGov poll, shared exclusively with TODAY, showed that 78% of adults between the ages of 18 and 93 said they “like to put their phone down when their favorite song plays.”

“Well, that’s the right answer,” TODAY’s Carson Daly said when discussing the results of the poll during a news segment. However, another guest on the segment argued that by including such a large age range, the results were skewed. “I feel like the 18 to 35 group is going to have a different answer,” she said, comparing them to the older crowd.

The issue seems to stem from the increase in cell phone usage over time thanks to technological advancements, social media, and a generational difference in how these events are viewed. 

I can’t outrun an avalanche, so I might as well take my phone out and hope I survive to upload it on TikTok.

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So why do we have this habit of recording everything?

There's no one specific reason, but science has narrowed it down to a few reasons: namely, creating a focus on the subject captured within the lens, documentation for future consumption, and more simply remembering the moment.

In a paper published in December 2013, Fairfield University psychologist Dr. Linda Henkel suggested that recording things with your cell phone is a way for people to remember the moment — literally. But she believes there's a "photo-taking impairment effect" that comes with this action. People are relying on their phones to remember the event for them, and as a result, they've actually been shown to remember the concert or event less than those who don't record.

Dr. Pamela Rutledge, author and media psychologist who spoke to NBC News, argues almost the opposite: that recording an event creates a hyperfocus on what's being captured within the lens.

“When someone takes a photo or a video, their attention is hyper-focused on what is in the lens. It’s not the same thing as ‘not paying attention.’ It’s paying attention to a select portion of the experience — things that are particularly exciting and meaningful," she explains.

So, our constant recording could be dangerous and it may also cause you to forget the event you're recording. But in some cases, it could be a memory that lasts for a lifetime.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.