I’ve been reading and talking a lot lately with people about the importance of being present, in the moment.
There was a spot on NPR recently about an experiment among some of the staffers to reduce their usage of their smartphones. The theory is that reaching less for their phones to fill virtually any moment with content from their phones allowed them moments of “boredom,” which engaged their minds to “think better.”
I was recently talking with someone who has significantly reduced her use of Facebook as a method of entertainment and information (a practice I have also put into place recently). She was telling me that it is driving her into more and better personal involvement with her husband and toddler. It is also affording her more productive use of her work time.
Finally, I was having a conversation recently about the availability of cameras on our smartphones and how we tend to capture as many moments as possible with our phones. The very vision of someone holding a phone/camera two feet away from their face, grabbing a photo of something, has become a staple of our time.
At what cost?
We’re so obsessed with snagging a photo, reading an update, tweeting a status, pinning a funny photo or recipe, or Instagramming a photo of our meal, that we may be neglecting to savor the moment that we’re in. The value of our interactions and being present in our moments might be getting lost in and among our desires to memorialize them. We could be so consumed with everything except enjoying our moments that we fail to actually do so.
I’m not advocating a return to a time of less technology and less access to the information that is so useful to us on a daily basis. After all, I’m a huge fan of technology and what we’re able to do with it. I am, however, suggesting that we be attentive to one another and not replace our time together with shared space and faces down. I’m suggesting that we will benefit from looking each other in the eyes and communicating fully and in the moment.
There is value in spending time together, and there is value in spending time in our own heads. Just like our phones need to recharge to be useful, so do our brains. We need time to ourselves to process our thoughts and opinions. It is often how we do our best problem-solving. It is also how we best reconnect to the spirit of what makes us unique and special.
Besides, we can always use our phones to call people we can’t see in person. Imagine that!
Will you join me in connecting more in person? Tomorrow Begins Today.