Put Down Your Phone and Be Present in This Moment

 

We all crave excitement. It’s part of our human condition. We want action now. We want microwave meals with gourmet flavor. We want high-def, and answers as fast as Siri can say them. Shame on me for needing to fill every moment with activity, every second with entertainment. With one foot on the brake, I reach for my phone to fill the dead space in traffic. God forbid I’d sit silently while red becomes green. Oh, the agony. But I’m not the only one aching for amusement. Look around. How many smart phone inspectors can you spot? I’ll bet you see at least a few people engrossed in social media, a YouTube video, or some other digital activity.

I love technology. I recently offered a tip to friends on Facebook. Here’s what I said…

The best way to torture a teen (I’m well versed): Don’t take away their gadgets, simply replace them. Trade a smart phone for a rotary phone, flat panel TV for a black & white console (the kind with the dial), an iPod for a cassette player, & a laptop/ iPad with WiFi for anything with dial up! Now would’t that be pure hell! Bwaahaahaaa!

The truth is, I enjoy my gadgets as much as my teen does, and would find it hard to function without them (at least initially). But what happens when they become diversions? When our “toys” lure us from our lives. We forget about the humans in front of us and the tasks at hand. We stop being present in THIS moment. Instead of experiencing our adventures, we capture them on video and send them to the news feeds where others can mindlessly watch them while “spending time” with their families.

A good friend of mine visited last night. We sat at my dining room table. He scrolled through his phone. I plucked at the keyboard on my laptop. Suddenly, I looked up at this friend I rarely see and said, “I’m glad you stopped by.” We both laughed.

From Monday to Sunday, life is made up of mundane moments. And that’s okay. I think it’s easy to get swept up in life’s hectic pace, to be captivated by the flashing screens and forget that my best times are often silent, devoid of technology and modern-day entertainment. They are the WiFi-free moments when my spoiled Chihuahua slathers me with kisses, the seconds when my gaze meets the elderly woman’s at the grocery store. I roll an empty shopping cart her way and she smiles, her eyes feeling warm like the sun on my skin.

When you crave excitement today, do something mundane. Let simplicity soothe your anxious soul.

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” ~ Lao Tzo

2 Comments
  • QA
    July 27, 2015

    Perfect. I often see couples or parents with kids out and about, and every one is on their phone or gadget. I think to myself, ‘get rid of those things and TALK to each other’. We are fast losing the simple joy of conversation with others.

    • Rica Lewis
      July 29, 2015

      So true, QA! Thanks for reading & commenting. 🙂

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