Thomas the Tank Engine day with my kids

Jon Acuff has a nice post about Skrillex (an Internet sensation for his electronic music) who recently advised a group of his fans that they shouldn’t try to experience his concert through their smartphones. In the words of Mr. Skrillex:

Don’t try to experience the party through your cell phone just so you can document it to show people later that you were there. Just be there.

Acuff follows with some helpful thoughts about parenting, and many of the commenters lamented that they feel pressure to document everything in order to be good parents. But among the comments, I especially appreciated this great suggestion from KC,

I have a 3 picture rule… If our daughter does something iPhone camera worthy, we snap 3 quick pics then put the phone back in the pocket.  Later, it can get Instagramed, posted, tweeted, whatever.   As first time parents, I love capturing those precious moments, but being IN that moment is far more important!

I love that KC is being thoughtful about the benefits and downsides of the smartphone. She recognizes problems, but instead of abandoning the technology altogether she puts two thoughtful boundaries around it that represent and reinforce her values:

  1. First, she limits herself to three pictures instead of endlessly angling for that perfect shot which sometimes ruins the beauty of the event itself.
  2. Second, it seems that she waits until later to post, tweet, instagram, etc. the photo  so she isn’t looking at the phone while her kids standby.

By setting these boundaries around the technology, she is able to balance the two things she values: being “IN” the moment and capturing memories. And if you have tips of your own, please share them in the comments!