Derek Hunter

It’s not often I get to cite Peter Frampton. Hell, it’s not often anyone gets to cite Peter Frampton anymore. His massive album “Frampton Comes Alive” was before my time, yet my ears are intimately familiar with the songs on it. “Baby, I Love Your Way” was a staple of junior high dances and couples skates, until such things were replaced by dry humping. So it’s nothing personal when I write that I don’t get much occasion to write about Frampton, he’s just mostly before my time.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still things we can learn from the master of the TalkBox.

At a concert in Indiana this year, Frampton grabbed a fan’s smartphone and threw it because the fan wouldn’t stop filming the show. You might think that’s rude or diva-esque, but Frampton has a point.

In the era of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., etc., etc., there’s barely a moment people aren’t documenting in some form or another. How many friends do you know who post pictures of their every meal? Or every outfit their kid wears? Every concert they attend?

We, as a society, have become so obsessed with documenting and sharing our lives that we’re running risk of missing the living of them part.

I wouldn’t have thought about this topic again had I not had the "Today Show" on in the background Labor Day morning. They had Maroon 5 performing a concert, and I looked up and saw the crowd in front of the stage. Well, I didn’t see the crowd, I saw a sea of smartphones and iPads filming the show. Hundreds of people staring at a small screen to make sure they were framing it properly, meanwhile they’re missing the actual show they’re hoping to capture for eterntity.

I don’t know how many of those videos made it to some social network somewhere, but I do know this: their quality is undoubtedly awful.

Your phone or iPad takes perfectly fine video if you’re in a quiet place, no wind, and you aren’t moving very much. What they don’t do is take anything watchable or listenable in a crowd where people are bopping around and screaming. But that didn’t stop these people from missing a show they were clearly excited about seeing because they were so focused on capturing it.

Derek Hunter

Derek Hunter is Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist. You can also stalk his thoughts 140 characters at a time on Twitter.