April 21, 2017

No Phone Fridays

I used to have an unusual talent of sweating through 3 layers of clothing at a time. I was amazing at it!

Maybe I was just a sweaty hormonal teen, but I know some of it could be attributed to how nervous I felt around new people. And I guess you could say over the years my social anxieties have driven me to really challenge myself––because who wants to drown in their own sweat. I have now reached a point where I can very confidently say hello to strangers and strike up conversation without my heart beating out of my chest. I actually really enjoy it now. I still hate talking in front of groups, although I'm getting better at that one too. But my point is, there has to be a reason I feel this need to connect with the world or I would just stay at home and do more work and watch Netflix with my pet lion.

Before heading to meet some friends on a Friday, I was thinking about how dinner and drink outings can be expensive and anti-climactic. Not that I don’t love my friends. But what could be different and how could I make this time away from work more worthwhile? Not only do I enjoy connecting with others, I also love being the liaison for other people connecting to on another. And not so secretively as of late I have been working on developing ANOTHER talent, where I use my eyes to levitate cellular devices out of a person’s hands when they are using the phone in ways that cheapen the social interaction as a whole. Sometimes I’ve wanted to do this to myself! The good news is, I’ve already had friends thank me upon reminding them that their phone usage is antisocial. COME ON. Have you ever seen a couple out to eat and they are both Face-In-Phone? How about a parent who should be watching over their child but is instead scrolling, scrolling, scrolling? My absolute least favorite is when someone is texting and driving. Maybe this is not anti-social, but still incredibly unhealthy. Its ironic that these social networks can drive us to actually be very unsocial, or could even kill us on the spot. So I've been thinking, do I really want a device to have this much control over my life? Why do I look at my iPhone more than I look outside? I figured I would take this matter into my own hands, by taking the phone out of my hands.

So Friday night was the first of hopefully many "No-Phone-Friday's-After-Five." (Planning on round two tonight). I’m almost embarrassed to admit, it was absolutely invigorating. I left my phone at home, set plans to meet friends for dinner/happy hour, and disconnected for the rest of the night. It was crazy at how weird it felt just walking out of my door knowing I was without it. It felt like I had left with sneakers on my feet, but no socks. Something uncomfortable, with potential to get more painful as time went on.

Poor me, I had to make sure I knew the way to my destination before leaving my apartment. I knew I could not call an Uber home later. I could not check my text messages or get ahold of anyone “not at my spot”. O-M-G. This got me thinking about so many different things that our phones are stealing from us. Like having a sense of direction: IN TOWN AND IN LIFE. I could go on and on.

My overall point comes from one of my new favorite quotes I recently discovered: "Wherever you are, be all there,” by Jim Elliot. This quote really stuck with me. I ironically saw it while I was on Facebook and proceeded to immediately exit out of the Facebook App and resume real life.

I think now more than ever, this should be a theme for us cell phone abusers to live by. We get so caught up in our apps, in scrolling, in texting, in calling, in emailing, in Googling, in snapping and texting some more that our actual human experience is decaying. I know I need to practice what I preach but seriously, even just for an evening, disconnect. Just do it. The world will keep spinning, and you may be surprised at how much you learn from the experience, and ironically how "disconnecting" can make you feel much more connected with the world. If you hold me accountable, I’ll hold you accountable. I’d love to hear your stories about your No-Phone-Fridays.

=) Good luck! #NoPhoneFridays

“Wherever you are, be all there.”

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