Put Down Your Phone
(Originally published on Medium.com)
Have you noticed that everyone, and I do mean everyone, seems to be plugged into their phone? Go to Starbucks. Coffee and phones. Go to the mall (if you can find one), people have their heads down focused on their phones. Heck the other day I was standing in line to check into my hotel and both the customer and the person behind the counter kept checking their phones.
Cell phones are awesome. The technology we carry in our hands thanks to these powerful little devices gives us more power than the astronauts had on some of our earliest voyages to space. No question these are fantastic inventions that have improved our ability to find where we are going easier, listen to that hot new release from our favorite artist and of course be available for that important email or phone at a moments notice.
But aren’t these marvelous inventions also slowly killing us? No I don’t mean the residual cancer that they will surely be blamed for years from now. I mean killing the human experience of connection by preventing us from participating in real life.
Before phones, people talked to one another. Before phones people looked up when someone new walked into the coffee shop. Before phones real conversations were had that discussed really issues of the day on the subways and bar stools across the land. Before phones there was a sense of community with opportunities abound to play an active role in your community and in essence in your own life.
Today the majority of us have our heads buried in some electronic device that holds such power over our attention that even attempting to have a real conversation now seems awkward and uncomfortable.
What if you were to put your phone away for a single day? No seriously, what if you just left that sucker in your back pocket, in your purse or— and I may be cast out for saying this — left it a home for an entire day!
How different might that day go? How many more people might you have an opportunity to engage and meet? Assuming of course they too had left their little electronic leashes at home as well.
People it’s time to put down your phones. It’s time to start interacting with other people (who aren’t on text, Snapchat or Facebook). It’s time to start living and showing yourself and the world that the phone is just a phone. True it’s a powerful tool but it’s still a tool. It’s time to go start reengaging with the world in a way that doesn’t require checking in, Tweeting about it or Snapping about it.
Turn that sucker off and give life, connection and conversation a chance to make a come back if only for a day.
Try it, you may just like it.