Technology has advanced over the years in ways that I couldn’t even imagine. Specifically, cell phones. What was once a luxury is now the norm.
I remember when I first saw an iPhone. One of my cousins had one and he was showing me all of its cool features.
Being able to take pictures, record videos, search the Internet, check the weather, and listen to music was great. The fact that I could do all of this on one device was cool and convenient.
To think, this was only the beginning.
Soon, phones would be able to allow people to video chat, watch live TV, take pictures with amazing quality, and screen shot (my favorite).
With all of these great features, I couldn’t help but to be on my phone all the time. If I wasn’t texting, I was watching a video, and if I wasn’t doing that, I was taking selfies to post on my Facebook or Instagram.
Yes, I feel into the technology ocean without a life preserver. And I made no attempt to try to swim for it.
I love all that my phone can do, but it can be distracting. So much so that I forget what I really should be focusing on.
And I’m not alone. While I’m having dinner with family, all our phones are on the table. The minute we hear an alert, we grab it.
The worst is when someone answers a phone call and has a whole conversation. They all complain, and yet, they all do it.
Dinnertime with family should be a time to reflect on our day. We already don’t see each other for a number of hours so that time should be uninterrupted.
Oh, I’m guilty too. I answer a phone call or two while I’m out with family. It’s not the best thing to do, but it sometimes takes someone else doing something to see how bad it looks.
That became clearer soon enough.
In November 2009, I went to see Alicia Keys in concert at Madison Square Garden. It was right after the song, “Empire State of Mind” was released. I was excited to see her perform it with Jay-Z.
I had my phone out to take pictures and video during certain moments of the show. For the most part, I had my phone in my bag. I wanted to enjoy myself. I was dancing, screaming, jumping, singing, the whole bit.
All the while, I looked around at the sea of lights. They weren’t spotlights from the arena but of people’s phones. Thousands of them capturing every moment. They never put it down.
They had their phones out the whole time!
Seeing your favorite artist performing a couple feet away can be exciting. I get that. But, to record the entire concert is too much.
The way I look at it is this.
I see them on TV all the time but now I have the chance to see them live. Very up close and personal.
It may not happen again so I want to enjoy every moment. I can’t do that if I’m on my phone. Also, if I pay hundreds of dollars to see them, I want to make sure I see them through my own eyes and not through a camera lens.
Live the moment. Seize it. The memory will be better than the video ever can be.
I wonder who from that night can remember specific moments without having to pull out their phones.
Others may not.
The big picture is that moments come and go. So it makes it even more important to me to fully pay attention to all that’s around me.
There have been times when I was distracted by my phone while still trying to have a conversation with someone. They would say something that would make me stop, turn my phone off, and listen.
Bless their hearts.
Valuable life lessons are gold. When I have real conversations with people, I grow as a person and learn more about myself. I see that a device can take away from what’s really important.
Instead of being consumed with my phone, I just want to live in the moment.
It may be hard to put my phone down but I’ll try. I want to challenge myself and see how long I can be away from it. It might last for a good 20 minutes, but it will be worth a shot.