Almost everyone these days is attached to their phone. Like, emotionally attached. Like, serious-withdrawal-symptoms-if-they-don’t-have-it-right–this–second attached. It’s a symbol of this weird modern irony where our phone is both our crutch in social situations and our way of staying connected with one another.
It’s one of my biggest pet peeves when I see people on their phones during some of the most exciting adventures in life. We have this great big world in front of us and yet we confine ourselves to such a small piece of glass. What are we doing? Why are we limiting ourselves?
It’s time to stop living life through a screen. I mean, just look at all these amazing things we can do if we just put down our phones!
You can see puppies in real life! What!
People have seen dogs before. They will continue to see dogs. We have been blessed with a pretty constant supply of cuteness walking through any given park at almost any given time. It’s not necessary to chase a puppy around trying to get it to look at your camera. You can put your phone away and actually pet one! Real and in the fluff! Puppy videos are definitely a gift to this world, but they’re no match for one of the cute little nuggets right in front of you.
You can see a concert with a view larger than 5 inches! What!
Your friends don’t need a shaky, blurry, inaudible video of whatever performer you’re seeing. Take your group photo for the insta caption (incorporating song lyrics, as one does) and capture that cool light display for the memories, then put the phone away to actually enjoy the thing you paid a lot of money to experience. It’s significantly more fun when you see it first hand, we all know this. I’ve been to concerts where everyone in front of me had their phones out, Facebook live-ing the entire show and I’ve been to concerts where the phones were far and few between after the first song. I’ll let you guess which one was the most enjoyable for everyone.
You can enjoy food without distraction! What!
Wouldn’t you love to really taste your food? Wouldn’t you love the control over knowing when you’re actually full and not just eating because the TV is turned on in front of you? We’re so go-go-go, always rushing, never taking the time to actually enjoy anything. You don’t have to be scrolling through perfectly-angled pictures of desserts on Instagram while you eat the dinner you worked so hard to make, barely tasting it. By the time those famous influencers are done basking their food in bright lights and shifting their accessorizing pieces around a million times for the ‘gram worthy shot, it’s all cold and gross anyway. I promise you’ve got the better deal!
Fireworks are a lot more impressive than a few colored pixels! What!
Let me set the scene. It’s the fourth of July. We all know where everyone is come dusk. I avoid all social media until I know those firework snapstories have expired because it’s just ridiculous. I don’t even want to say any more on this subject, just…enjoy your pretty explosions and let me enjoy mine and we’ll be all good.
You can spend time with someone and not have to vie for their attention! What!
A conversation can actually happen- you don’t have to find out about their life from Twitter if they’re literally sitting right in front of you! And. You can go on a road trip with someone and have a copilot that actually pays attention to you and keeps you awake! Y’all, we need to emphasize how much we appreciate each other. One day, you’re going to look up from your 1,000 Facebook friends only to realize all the ones in real life have given up on trying to get through to you. Take care of each other and never forget who your real friends are.
You can walk through a city and appreciate it in person! What!
You don’t have to see life through Instagram filters. You don’t have to confine what you see to a perfect little square-cropped image. You can explore a city and really get to know it. You can adventure and explore and find all of the hidden corners of the world without worrying about “good lighting” or “is this stranger going to steal my phone if I make them take my picture 40 times in the same door frame.” Infrastructure is so impressive when you’re standing in front of it, looking straight up at it towering above you. A camera lens just can’t capture that feeling.
“Wherever you are, be all there” – Jim Elliot
I’m sure you know how much of a focus I’ve been putting on living life to the fullest (because I talk about it all the time, sorry not sorry). It’s important to me to enjoy life, make the most of it, and appreciate every little piece of it. This world is always changing, there’s always something happening. It’s so raw and real and beautiful that a little screen, no matter how smart, can’t encompass much of it. No technology could ever do it justice.
But that doesn’t stop a lot of us from trying. Reality has become reality TV.
We may be more connected than ever, but we’re losing our connections with each other. I’m not claiming to be perfect; I’m working on putting my phone down more often, too. I still scroll through Instagram on my way to class or pretend to text when I’m waiting for someone. I run a blog, so of course I spend a lot of time online. I’m not condemning technology. I’m not saying you need to delete all of your social media apps or stop taking pictures of all the cool things you do. Smart phones are an amazing technology and we should make use of them, but we shouldn’t live through them.
Our lives are not what we have in our camera roll. If you spend too much time trying to craft the perfect Tweet or shoot the perfect Boomerang video, you’re going to miss out on so much of life happening around you. You aren’t living in those moments, you’re merely existing.
I love looking at pretty cupcakes as much as the next girl, but I don’t need to see every meal you ever eat ever.
I love seeing you have fun, but I don’t need to watch a 10 minute snapstory of the party you went to.
I love spending time with you, but I don’t need to be waiting for you to update all of your social networks before you talk to me.
I’m worth more than the screen in your hand. Your friends are worth more than the screen in your hand. YOU are worth more than the screen in your hand. Just look up and embrace the incredible life we’re fortunate to be living!
~ What phone-free experiences are your favorite?