Living in New York, my days always begin with the same daily commute to work where I ride the subway with many others who are also doing the same thing. My morning routine is basically on auto-pilot at this point, where I inevitably see a majority of the same people on my commute. And each day, I’m humored at how predictable everyone else is.
Each day, nearly everyone is staring blankly at the screens of their phones, scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook or watching a YouTube video or a series on Netflix. With headphones shoved into their ears, the people surrounding are hardly noticeable. That’s what our daily lives have boiled down to — Tuning out to in order to tune into technology.
We’re so reliant on our phones, tablets, laptops, and other smart devices that we don’t pay much attention to our immediate environment. It’s a bit ironic though because we’ve become so invested in what’s happening in the digital world that we forget all about the real world; the physical world.
Of course, I too am guilty of this…which is why I’m so relieved at the unexpected bliss I get when my phone actually dies.
The sad part is, society is feeding into our dependency on technology.
Many of us have portable phone chargers and there are now accessible phone charging stations readily available to aid us in our desire to constantly stay connected. I can even admit that I have my own portable phone charger with me [nearly] at all time. Because if and when our phone dies, we almost forget how to function on our own.
We can’t depend on Google for an answer. We can’t search for directions via GPS. We can’t send a text to our friend. We can’t make a call. We can’t check our e-mail.
We don’t know what to do to make the time go by. We are helplessly stuck in our own minds, with our own thoughts and have nothing else to occupy ourselves with.
But, this strange thing happens when my phone dies unexpectedly.
I start thinking about things that I may not have thought about in a while. I begin to observe my surroundings and the people around me which in turn start to spark my creative juices and bring inspiration to my writing. I become more more present, more aware, and more in touch with reality and myself.
It’s an unexpected bliss that is hard to find if we are consistently tuned into our phones. It’s the same bliss I get when I’m hiking in nature and have zero cell service — that joyful bliss where you’re in awe of everything that you could have been missing if your head was down looking at your phone.
It’s incredible how many things we could miss when we’re not paying attention. There’s such detail in the world around us and things can happen in the blink of an eye. Sure, we can capture it on video or phone, but nothing is the same as experiencing a moment with our own eyes, rather than the screen of a phone.