Walking through the park, eating dinner, visiting with friends, driving my car, grocery shopping, sitting in church, walking down the street and everywhere I look, people are on their phones. Now the phones are even wrapped around the wrist in the form of a watch. It is truly almost as if we are hand-cuffed to our device. It seems we are married to our phones. Today I file for Divorce from my phone.
Phones are both a curse and a blessing.
Phones can provide us with a faster more efficient way to communicate however it can also harm our ability to communicate with people face-to-face. I am certainly not opposed to cell phones. They have their advantages and at times are even essential. It is however up to each individual how they use the technology.
Have we lost the art of communication?
Do people really even know how to communicate anymore? All communication seems to be in the form of a text message, email, or a message on social media. In this form of communication, we sometimes miss out on the tone of the conversation, the eye contact, and the body gestures. Three things that really speak as loud as the message itself. Are we possibly missing out on a huge part of the human connection when we only use technology to communicate?
I have witnessed people using social media platforms such as Facebook to send passive aggressive messages to another person. In other words, you want to say something to someone but instead you post your message on Facebook hoping they see it. The message is intended for them but you lack the skills necessary to communicate the message face-to-face. Seems a bit cowardly to me.
What kind of example are we setting for our children?
NBC News reported parents are on their cell phones and other devices an average of 9 hours per day. Could this be making kids feel less important than the cell phone? Is it interfering with kids developing the necessary skills to actually have a face-to-face conversation?
The whole family sitting in the living room at night with the T.V. on and everyone on their phones. Very little interaction and no meaningful conversation. I have observed family and friends out having dinner in a restaurant and every single person at the table had their nose in the cell phone. I have almost been run over on the street by someone walking with their head in the cell phone completely unaware of their surroundings.
People have lost their life in car accidents as a result of cell phones. Is it really necessary to have your phone in your hand during your every waking moment? Are you picking your cell phone up the first thing every morning when your eyes open? Are you looking at your cell phone as the last thing you do right before you close your eyes to go to sleep? Are you running to grab your phone every time you hear it ding with a new text message, email, or Facebook message? It seems we cannot even get through a whole meal without checking our cell phone. It goes everywhere we go even to sit on the toilet.
Three times I have set aside for myself to disconnect and be completely device free.
- Device free mornings:Take that time for silence. Take that time to be grateful for a new day. Take that time to reflect. Take that time to focus on the body by exercising and doing a good morning stretch on the yoga mat.
- Device free meal-time: Focus on the food you are eating. Give thanks for the nourishment to your body. Be aware of the flavor and consistency of the food. Have great conversation with the people you are eating with.
- Device free bedtime: Spend the last couple hours before bedtime preparing for bed. Play with the dogs, communicate with your loved ones, turn off the noise both external and internal, read something positive, meditate, pray, or whatever helps you wind down and set the brain to sleep mode.
Try putting the phone down. Put it down and take a walk. Recognize the beauty all around you instead of having your face completely in the phone. Sit down to a nice meal and leave the phone in another room. Put your phone in the silent or off mode periodically. I promise you won’t miss a thing but you will gain more peace. You will gain more effective meaningful conversation with others. You will gain silence so your inner guidance can speak to you.
I challenge you to set aside device free times during your day when you put your phone down and pay attention to life. I think you will appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.
Vince is a Critical Care Registered Nurse, Published Writer, and Columnist living and loving in Atlanta, Georgia. Enter your email address to receive his weekly Educational, Inspirational, and Motivational 5-minute reads straight to your inbox. You can also follow him on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Your support and feedback are deeply appreciated.