We all seem to be in a such a hurry these days. We fill our schedules so full of things. The rare moments we do find ourselves with some down time we immediately distract ourselves with Facebook or Twitter or Snapchat. We are so afraid of being bored we walk around with a device in our face missing the world around us.
Many of you know, or maybe you don't, that several years ago I downgraded to a basic phone. There were many reasons I made this change, particularly my phone bill each month. It really opened my eyes to my dependence on my device. I was living in NYC at the time. It was a little scary at first, I was mostly afraid I would get lost. But a crazy thing happened, a world opened up before me. I actually learned to navigate the city better without my phone acting as a crutch. I was forced to pay attention. I discovered new places and saw wonderfully interesting things simply because I wasn't staring at my phone. If I did get lost or confused, I would ask some kind stranger for assistance. Believe it or not , most people want to help, even in NYC (Gasp!).
I began to enjoy the simple pleasure of wandering around the city. I would head for a coffee shop, grab some liquid comfort, and wander around the neighborhood until I got tired or stumbled upon a subway station. It was amazing to see the world beyond my 3.5" screen.
Do not get me wrong, I still fall for the trappings of technology. I regularly carry my old smartphone with me in case I get lost or have a desperate need to connect beyond the means of my basic phone. There are a surprising amount of hotspots, even in small town Alabama. I have yet to find myself in a situation where internet availability wasn't just around the corner. But I kind of enjoy the freedom of disconnection, of not being available on multiple platforms all the time. I have to make time for people. There is a beauty in the space unavailability allows. It gives me a sense of slowing down, of taking the back roads instead of the interstate, of cherishing a moment instead of always trying to capture it.
So go ahead. Put it down. Look around you. I am sure there is someone doing something ridiculous that you can post about later instead of that sensationalized and unsubstantiated political opinion article. We will all be silently thankful.
"Generally speaking, though, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one." –Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love