Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
YouTube is filled with clips of children — being born, laughing at bubbles, crying, throwing temper tantrums.
But does video actually interfere with real life?
It's possible to spend so much time looking through a camera that you rarely see the world eye-to-eye.
Monday, October 7, 2013
I love watching videos of my daughter from when she was a toddler.
“See how cute you were when you were two!” I exclaim to my sassy second-grader, who rolls her eyes.
I love listening to the way she talked, the way she looked in her bumblebee costume for Halloween and even the way she pronounced bumblebee as “bumbin bee.”
“Let’s watch the one where you’re running around the house nekkid!”
Modern parents are surely raising the most-videoed generation in recorded history. Children’s lives are documented in moving pictures far more easily and more frequently these days. Hand-held technology makes it supremely easy to record everything — childbirth, first steps, birthday parties, potty training, soccer games and streaking. If you can point a camera at it, you can save the moment forever.
Not to mention use it as possible blackmail during those rebellious teen-ager years.
“Ava Lou, remember when you were 4 and you got your butt stuck in the elevator of your Barbie Dreamhouse? And remember how Mommy videotaped that cute little scene with her camcorder? Well, if the litterbox isn’t cleaned in the next two minutes, young lady, guess what Mommy’s gonna share on Facebook!”
Parents, remember when we were afraid of Facebook and YouTube? Who knew we would one day embarrass our children with their own social media toys? I can’t wait to see what they invent next!
My family never had so much as an 8 mm movie camera until I was 14, pimply
and skinny, long past being cute. After the film was shot, we had to mail off the reels to have them developed. The movies didn’t even have sound. Setting up the projector and screen was cumbersome and the films often broke or were never watched again.
Now, when li’l Sammy Jr. takes a whack at a pinata at his birthday party, all Dad has to do is whip out his phone and record away. Then, with the sweep of a finger, he can watch that video immediately and share it with the world.
YouTube is filled with clips of children — being born, laughing at bubbles, crying, throwing temper tantrums, pooping and doing stuff that kids do and parents find so very interesting.
Are we shooting too much video? Are we turning kids into a bunch of nihilists who expect that their every move and utterance be captured for all time? Do they even recognize their parents when they are not holding phones in front of their faces? Will they grow up thinking that the rest of the world is just the supporting cast in their personal reality shows?
Maybe. But aren’t they the cutest reality TV stars ever!
My wife has done most the videotaping (yes, we still use digital videotape), all of the editing and all of the converting to DVDs. When I shoot video of family and kid functions, I focus so intently on making sure the camera is actually on and the kid is in the frame that I feel like I am not really part of the experience I am preserving digitally.
I videotaped my daughter getting on the bus for her first day of kindergarten. But was I really watching her? Did she turn around and look back? Did she wave from her seat? Ironically, I guess I will have to go to the videotape to find out.
Dave Tate is a veteran TV cameraman and a documentary maker who has shot tons of video in his career — and that’s just of his 6-year-old daughter. I asked him if he ever felt like he was missing anything by watching it through a camera lens.
Well, no, he said. After all, he’s a pro and knows what he’s doing. He does believe there are times to turn the camera off, however.
“I’m one of those guys who wants to get away from video when I’m home,” said Tate, who works for WSET-TV (Channel 13) and has shot documentary footage during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has learned to be a good self-editor.
“I shoot concisely in the field and at home. That gives me the time to be a dad.”
Video and online technology has allowed him to share his daughter’s milestone moments with his own parents, who live in Indiana and otherwise would miss their granddaughter’s birthdays and school programs.
“It’s truly amazing that we can capture those moments and keep them forever,” he said.
For good or for bad, my family will keep making more videos and DVDs for future viewing. I love watching them and remembering how my daughter talked at age 2. For a few minutes, she really is that toddler again, and I am taken back to those times that would have faded in memory.
So, we will make more videos. Then, in a few years, I will watch them and tell my daughter how cute she was when she was in the second grade.
Weather Journal70 Thursday to ice Sunday?