The two things that connect humans and animals… sunsets and full moon.

sun set dogsAt the end of a hot summer day, our cats and dogs will gather with us on our front deck overlooking the west and will be mesmerized by the ball of fire sinking over the lake. They are just like us – we do the same.

On a clear fall night, it’s our dogs sitting with us by the campfire watching and howling at a full moon.

We are all connected.

But what animals have over us is they live for the moment and they don’t post everything on social media like their owners do … (and may also do for their pets’ accounts that they created for them!)

No matter where you travel in the world, people scramble to catch the last rays of the day or to soak in the glow of moonlight on a starry night.

grant and jo in key west 2020In January 2020, we were in Key West at the Sunset Bar bar with a few thousand tourists all fighting for that perfect Instagram moment. And once again, God showed his sense of humour!

Just as the red ball came close to sinking into the Gulf of Mexico, a thin line of dark purple clouds appeared and hid the final moment of glory from all of us. A hush of disappointment ran threw the masses as the sea of iPhones returned into our pockets and everyone left.

I believe God was sending a message to us.
“Put down your phones and live for the moment.”

The saturation of sharing images and moments has become obsessive. How many moments over the last year have you lost by being more concerned with a photo from your phone instead of the experience of the moment or the conversation?

stack of photosI remember the anticipation of picking up my photo prints from the photo store a week after returning from a vacation or a family event. Opening the envelope was magical. You instantly returned to that moment. And to share your memories was something called a conversation… not an app.

As a marketer, I promote the importance of social media. Real-time engagement and connecting the tribe is essential in marketing for brands… but not for everyday people like you and me. The essence of communications still goes back to the word ‘communicate’ not ‘share’.


I was amazed at the sign in our Key West hotel, ‘no use of mobile phones on hotel property’.

I was awestruck! The owners get it! I assumed that this quaint 15 room hotel was trying to get their guests to take a breath and cherish the moment.

I have to admit I laughed out loud when I found out that the no photography sign was for legal reasons for the privacy of the guests as the common areas were ‘clothing optional’. We were safe as we didn’t see anything worth taking photos of anyways!

This all made me step back and think. Maybe its time to stop and to only post our images and share our stories after I’ve had time to digest and enjoy them, instead of as they happen? Why not save your one incredible image and story to share one on one with your real friends first, instead of telling the whole social world?


Think how powerful your memories could be if you took the time to live them.

So over that 10 day vacation in Florida, I took tons of photos on my iPhone, posted 3-4 times on Facebook and 2-3 posts on Instagram… so when I do sit down and connect with my true friends, I will have nothing to show or talk about. By posting I killed the story telling opportunity… the human connection…

Next time, I will keep my photos in the envelope till I get home and relive the excitement… good things come to those that wait.

Thanks for the clouds God.


cheers grant ivens, rgd
brand surgeon |  rocket scientist  |  educator
say what! communications corp.