you might know that i have no sense of direction. and maybe you know that i’m consistently 100% wrong when it comes to navigating my way around. if you ask me where north is, i’ll always point south. and if we are supposed to turn left, i’ll convince you that it’s time to turn right. and no matter how many times you show me a map or how many tricks you teach me, my brain just cannot seem to grasp it.
and so you can imagine that i am particularly grateful for my cell-phone that provides step-by-step directions and recalculations to ensure that i make it to where i need to be. and i’m also grateful for my cell-phone because i can always google directions, ‘pin’ my exact location and send it to my dad. my cell phone has helped me to document important events- like surprise engagements, trips around the world, and time spent with my family and friends. technology can be a beautiful thing. we have endless amounts of information at our fingertips. we can ask questions and get answers. we don’t have to miss someone as badly because we can watch them document their lives through video dates and pictures texts. social media. facetime. skype. and we can inform ourselves on current events and world news.
but i also believe that technology can get in our way. with all of the information at our fingertips, how much are we reading? what are we learning? and are we trying to take it all in? i always ask myself how much time i’ve spent informing myself about what is going on in the world versus refreshing my social media sites. and lately when i really think about my cell-phone, what i think about is distraction.
today on my way to hot yoga there was a detour on some country roads near my house. and then the highway had construction going on while other roads were closed to thru traffic. all i knew was that i did not know how to get from here to there. and i thought to myself, “thank goodness i have my phone or else i would be lost.”and then i realized that maybe that’s part of the problem; that i have my phone, that i’m not getting lost. because as much as technology adds to our lives, it also takes some away. like when you are in a room full of friends and the only people you are talking to are the ones that are not there. or when you are at a live concert but only view it through the screen of your camera or phone. and technology can get in the way when you spend the whole night documenting what you are doing, instead of actually doing it. when you spend more time letting the world know who you are with rather than just simply being with them. and cell-phones can get in the way when you are driving on the road and decide to check that text message. refresh that news feed or check on the status of the game. it can get in the way when you decide to take your eyes off the road and risk your life (and strangers’ lives) to figure out what someone else is doing with theirs.
if you are like me, then you have some room to grow when it comes to putting down your phone. i’ve started this game that i like to play with myself that’s about being present. it’s about putting down your phone. it’s about spending time with the people you are with. it’s about ignoring that incessant pull to check social media and send out a million text messages, or just to push random buttons on your phone. it’s ignoring the need to let everyone know know what you are doing and who you are doing it with. it’s about reducing your distractions. it’s about savoring every bite of your food, rather than seeing how many people ‘liked’ what you ate. it’s caring more about what you are doing rather than what your facebook friends are doing. the game is about being here. in real life. with the people you love.
it’s time to put our cell phones down. turn them off.
it’s time to sit and have conversations with friends without distraction. and it’s time to spend time with your family and hear what they are actually saying. it’s time to go outside and read a book. it’s time to read the newspaper or make some art. it’s time to learn a new hobby. and it’s time for me to learn how to get from ‘point a’ to ‘point b.’ it’s time to start gathering up knowledge and be informed, rather than just opinionated. it’s time to stop letting all those little visual and audio notifications interrupt your day. it’s time to stop distracting ourselves from our lives.
allow yourself a moment to be where you are.
i think we often get so busy trying to capture the moment that we forget to truly experience it.