I remember speaking to someone about my week after they asked me how everything was going. Let me type that again.....THEY ASKED ME how everything was going. In the middle of my venting session the person I was speaking to received a text, looked at her watch, started smiling and proceeded to text on that little device. Mind you, I was in the middle of talking. She came back to the conversation as if nothing happened and changed the subject as if she forgot I was talking. I'm sure this has happened to you so you know how I felt. I wish I could say this was the first time this has happened but it has happened with multiple people.
How many times have we been guilty of doing the same? I know I have done this before and it is never intentional (actually, sometimes it is) but when I'm on the receiving end of it, I get frustrated. Imagine how many of our grandparents, parents, children, friends, colleagues feel the same way. How many times have we been in the moment for a little bit and then went back to scrolling on social media, checking an email or even playing a game while we are surrounded by people?
Everyone is connected now more than ever and while it has been a huge stride in communication it has also been a downfall for face-to-face interactions. I can't tell you how many times I've been at a restaurant and I've seen an entire table of people all on their phones. I've seen couples dining together and one person is on the phone the entire time and the other person is just sitting there longing for a conversation, a response or even a glance. I was at the park the other day and a mom was pushing her child on the swing and was on her phone the entire time. Pushing him with one hand and phone in the other hand. I get it, we all need a break to free our mind but we miss so many opportunities to be present because of our phones. We miss eye contact, body language, jokes, sarcasm and just awareness in general. How can you connect with someone emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, or even physically if you are constantly on your phone?
My friend told me about this video she watched. It showed a mom watching her kids play while she sat on the porch. While her kids played, they referenced her about a dozen times and since she was on her phone she missed the opportunity to engage with them. How sad is that? (Also, how DANGEROUS is that?)
How many times are we missing opportunities around us? A better question is, how many times will we continue to miss opportunities around us? I challenge myself and I challenge you to put your phone away, make that dreaded eye contact, take a good look at your surroundings and be present in the presence of others.