And I feel okay making that pretty sweeping statement as I just lift my head and look at a busy intersection, street corner, bus stop--or really anywhere humans are mulling about. We grip on to our devices like a lifeline to a totally seperate universe!
There you are, in a wonderful conversation with a dear friend, or maybe mid meal, and your phone buzzes. Oh the possibilities! Perhaps you're one of those folks that keeps your notifications on for every app. First, stop that shit! Turn those off! Second, it's a familiar feeling of curiosity, excitement and a flood of dopamine, seratonin--a warm cocktail of neuro-chemical wonder as we unconsciously reach for our phone. In that moment, our present reality takes a backseat as we become entranced by our rectangular of freedom and distraction.
These phones are both SO cool and amazing--truly a little bit of God in our pockets, and also (I worry) rewiring our brains in a way that is/has changed the human mind significantly...and probably not in a good way.
And sure, I know, this is partly projection. I have this problem, this clinging, this tendency to reach for my phone when im lonely, or have a free moment, or need to be inspired, or tickled or otherwise pacified by the immensity of my existential predicament. Many of you with very strong minds, and crazy busy schedules somehow manage to keep your attention rooted in the analogue. I both applaud you, and would love for you to teach me your ways. But I suspect most of us share the addiction.
I share all this because I'm concerned about what's happening to us, seemingly naturally. I want US to rediscover the present moment, or at least a moment together without screens. I want to go back to books, and questions that can't immediately be answered with a "hey Siri." All of this to say, turn it off. Enjoy airplane mode on a walk around the block. Leave the phone at home when you venture off to the grocery store, make gentle rules with your friends and loved ones about keeping devices away at certain times... Let's reclaim our awakeness, our attention..our lives.