Something that I have been mindful of lately is how much technology distracts us from being fully present. In the past, I did not dwell too much on this fact because I was literally too distracted by the instant access I had at my fingertips to even notice this phenomenon. Now, however, I feel that the initial shock of having a mini computer on me at all times has faded and I am much more aware of how it affects me. I think it all started when I realized that I could be in a room full of people I know and we could all be in our own little worlds on our phones. Noticing that this was happening really struck me and woke me up out of my technological daze. I consequently notice this happening everywhere now. A few weeks ago, I was walking down the street and passed by two young boys sitting on a grassy hill with their scooters sprawled out next to them while they sat on their iPhones. The image in my mind of these boys cracks me up because it completely sums up the nature of people today. We are still active people, moving around, doing outdoor activities, but we also behave as if we are part machine. We take breaks from the present to escape into the virtual world that how now become an extension of ourselves. It has gotten to the point where it is somewhat socially acceptable to be “busy” on your phone and to ask people to wait until you are done addressing whatever needs to be addressed on your phone. After all, it can be a challenge to text someone while trying to engage in an in-person conversation. I find it so interesting that the injection of technology in our everyday lives is changing our social rules.
I believe that it is important to be aware of the changes that are taking place in our behavior. People are afraid of technology “controlling” us and turning us all into “robots”, but the only way to keep that from happening is to pay attention and keep ourselves in check. Our excessive use of phones and computers in social situations reminds me of the quote “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” Life is happening here and now all the time, but having computers and phones can cause us to focus on what happened in the past and what is planned for the future more. People sincerely need to lift their heads out from behind these glass screens and look at what is in front of them. There is so much to be grateful for that is already within one’s range of vision that does not need to be found on Facebook or Instagram. I think people in this day and age lose sight of this sometimes since they can see what they want replicated on a screen at any moment.
In no way am I meaning to bash people these days for using technology. Of course we are going to be distracted by these fascinating little machines! After all, they are so cool and can do unimaginable things! Naturally, people are going to soak up the opportunity of having that kind of access to information and to other people. I am simply suggesting that people keep their heads up and stay conscious of themselves. This is an important lesson to learn, regardless of whether technology is involved or not. It is always good to keep an objective view of oneself in order to make improvements and become better. I would think that people would want to pay attention to these habits so that they can live more present and fulfilling lives! After all, I would like for my memories to consist of people and places that are actually physically present with me, and not existing in a cyber world on a computer screen. I love being a human and it is up to me to hold on to what makes me human. We have the option of controlling technology or letting technology control us, and hopefully more people choose the former.