09/17/2012 09:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2012

Is Remembering More Important Than Experiencing?

Ew. My hair looks awful in this one! Let's try again.

On a recent trip to Atlanta, Georgia with my friends, it curiously struck me that we weren't enjoying our trip at all. We were so focused on capturing memories on our cameras that we were forgetting to make any memories at all. Viewing Atlanta through the lens of my Canon Rebel T3 just wasn't as fulfilling.

This would make a great picture, lets take one!

We were on our way to see a Young the Giant concert. After eight hours of driving to Georgia and another hour on the Marta, Georgia's version of the subway, we were finally out on the streets of the city, eyes blinded by the sun.

Take one with our diplomas in the air! Hurry, hurry! It's hot and I'm starting to look sweaty.

This one is profile-picture worthy!

We had just graduated from four years of high school and the only thing my friends were concerned with was whether they had taken pictures with everyone they needed to. So much for relishing the moment. I don't mean to throw my dear friends to the wolves, so to speak, but I wonder, when did it become more about the reminiscing than the actual experiencing? When did digital images hold more emotional importance than the sensory experiences that prompted the pictures? With the creation of digital camera and camera phones, the idea of instantly reflecting on experiences came more prevalent.

It is a sad reality that the online experience and sharing memories with friends through social networking has become of greater importance than living in the moment.

Another vivid memory that I can recall in regards to this irksome reality is the time I went to Universal Studios in Orlando with a group of friends last summer. We must have missed at least a dozen rides because it was more important to get pictures with every single damn thing in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. After the 20th picture with a single glass of f*cking butterbeer, I had had enough. "I think I'm ready to leave," I exhaled. On the trudge back to the car, my shirt was stuck to my back with sweat and my palms were clenched with annoyance. The entire day went downhill because we were all so busy trying to get visible evidence that we really did enjoy ourselves.

On top of capturing every single moment as it happens instead of relishing in what you're actually feeling at the time, people now are able to go back and edit these pictures. If you have a pimple, you can erase it. Stray hair? Erase it! Friend betrays you? Erase them! Society has become so involved in remembering through photos that we all end up with empty experiences and distorted, altered memories.