Being present

Over the past year, I’ve slowly come to despise technology. Not that I don’t use it every day, but I really hate the way it has taken over our lives, and replaced so much of our face-to-face interactions.

Any time I go out, either with friends, or even alone, I tend to people watch, and it’s always astounding to me to see a group of people at a table, and have every single one of them on their smart phones, looking down, not at each other. It breaks my heart.

But worse than watching other people ignore each other is feeling ignored by the people that I’m with. Sure, I used to also be that person that sat down at a table and immediately pulled my phone out of my purse and laid it face-up on the table so that I would know the very second that someone posted on Facebook, or texted me. But then, I started paying attention to how I felt when I would be in the middle of a conversation and have someone break eye-contact with me to see why their phone was lighting up…….and I felt like shit. I felt like I wasn’t important to them, that my words, my feelings, my life didn’t matter. And I realized, this addiction to technology we have is completely fucked up. “Social” media my ass. It has simply made our lives more UN-social and UN-connected in the real, human ways that our lives are meant to be.

This summer, I began making a point to not look at my iPhone when I was with my friends, or on dates, at concerts, even while walking Ginger. And now, it doesn’t even cross my mind to look at my phone, even when my friends go to the bathroom. I have found freedom and I have found my life richer by having no distractions with my friends. I connect with them more. I’m fully engaged, with no part of me torn.  I smile at people I pass on the street. I meet more people by simply being present and aware of opportunities. By having my phone completely out of sight and on silent, my ears aren’t unconsciously listening for a text alert, my eyes aren’t searching for that black screen to light up, and my brain isn’t distracted by what people might be saying on my “check-in” at the local spot. Have you ever paid attention to how many distractions we unconsciously search for because we’ve conditioned ourselves to do so? Think about it, and let that resonate with you.

I’m definitely not perfect, and I still use technology and belong to social media, but I’m trying to find a balance. I’m trying to make my actual, physical world more important to me than anything digital or in the cloud. Because this life we get, we only get once, and I’ll be damned if I waste it on a small screen!

These two videos below have definitely made an impact on me, and I challenge you to watch them, really pay attention to what they’re saying, and analyze your own life with technology. Let’s all try to be more present.

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