Updated: Dec 30, 2021
As Sheba and I made our way around downtown, I noticed how many people were out…either walking to work…already doing their jobs…or simply enjoying the beautiful morning. I also noticed how many of them, myself included, had phones in hand.
I watched a person on their bike checking their phone at a light. A delivery man on his phone while he dragged the dolly back to the truck. A young girl sitting outside Starbucks fixated on her phone. A woman walking her dog messaging…oh, wait…that was me.
Everywhere I looked it seemed everyone was on their phone…and no one was present…in the moment…unless you count the attention they were paying to their phones.
Think about it. Our phones get more of our attention than most of the loved ones in our lives. Sure, we may be using the phone to communicate with a loved one but that means we aren’t giving the appropriate attention to what’s going on around us…nor giving the appropriate attention to ourselves.
We’re disengaged…pre-occupied…always multi-tasking…living somewhere other than where we are.right.now. And I’m just as guilty as anyone.
For years, I was attached to my phone. I had it in my hand or within arms reach at all times. It wasn’t uncommon to be on a conference call, messaging with someone else about something that needed to be taken care of. I even slept with my phone next to my bed…you know in case those baby hearts I was hauling needed to be delivered somewhere.
Seriously, I wasn’t hauling baby hearts or anything that was so absolutely important I couldn’t step away from my phone…or god forbid, shut it off once in a while!
Since retiring I’ve been trying to ween myself from my phone…not totally but to use it more as a compliment in the moment than a distraction. Like, if I’m sitting with friends and we’re trying to decide where to eat…using my phone to look for options. Or if Mr. Universe and I are hanging out at the house, using my phone to turn down the music so we can have a conversation.
It’s amazing what you see when you put down your phone long enough to look around. Unfortunately, I’ve been seeing a lot of other people with phone in hand…head gently bent forward…shoulders slightly slumped…completely missing out on the moment right in front of them.
So unless you really are hauling baby hearts (or any type of organ), put down the phone when you’re with loved ones. Leave it in your pocket or purse at dinner. Heck, take a walk and leave it at home! Experience a bit of freedom…your brain — and spirit — will thank you.