Wednesday, May 18, 2016
I had an epiphany this week. A huge epiphany. Sunday morning I left for work and realized about five miles down the road that I had forgotten my phone. Mild panic set in. I almost turned around, but something inside of me said just keep going. And so I did. Surely I could survive eight hours without a phone. What I learned was very eye opening. Lately I have been wanting to remove distractions from my life. Going back to simpler times, back to the basics. I found myself constantly on social media, aimlessly scrolling one post to the next. For what purpose? Absolutely none. It was a habit born from boredom. Waiting on an elevator, looking at FB. Eating lunch, looking at Snapchat. Watching tv, looking at Instagram. For some reason cell phones have made us wired to constantly feel the need to be doing SOMETHING. Whether it be, internet shopping, playing games, texting, emailing, or surfing social media, cell phones have placed the world at our fingertips. Constantly entertained by something other than actual human interaction. All the while, missing out on what life is really about, the moments made outside of a glass screen. When you don't have your phone you really realize how much people's lives (including mine) revolve around that little hand held piece of technology. Everybody, except me, was looking at their phone. I feel like the art of making good conversation is becoming extinct, being replaced by a glowing tiny screen that will never talk back to you (except when annoying Siri, who never understands you, offers her assistance). That day I noticed I had WAY more meaningful conversations with people. Conversations I never would have had if I would've been glued to my phone. Not only was it nice to have good conversation, it felt good to have no restraints. Not feeling the need to immediately answer a text or phone call right away. The times we are in now, everybody is literally just a text away, offering instant gratification. It felt good to go "rogue," off the map for a day. I had been liberated! Liberated of all the constraints a cell phone had placed on me. And it truly felt good. I paid attention to people more. I made conversation more. I felt uninterrupted more. All positive things. I'm not a big believer in New Year's resolutions. I feel they are a huge waste of time, and 99% of the time they don't stick. But I am a firm believer in working every day to make yourself a better person. I think spending less time on my phone will be my every day resolution. Since then I have looked at my phone way less. I don't feel the need to have it on me 100% of the time, that anxiety is gone. I don't feel the need to check my social media accounts all day long. Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of things that are wonderful about cell phones, but only in small doses. Cell phones shouldn't replace people. I've always thought the "old timers" were crazy for revoking the evolution of technology (my father-in-law literally just got a cell phone- for emergencies only of course), but I get it now. I really do.