Last weekend I stumbled upon an interesting discovery. Who would’ve known the weekend that I couldn’t find my iPhone charger would forever change how I felt about social media and more.
Friday evening I had come home from work and noticed my phone battery was at 10%. I couldn’t find any charger that worked and iPhone 5 chargers cost a bunch… So I decided to just reserve the battery and not look at my phone until i could get back to work on Monday.
I went the whole weekend without having a phone, checking email, or checking my social media accounts. I spent it at home with my fiancé. One of the first changes I noticed was how it changed my perception of time. I wasn’t checking my phone every ten minute or wasting time on Facebook. That weekend was one of the longest weekends ever, everything seemed to slow down and I felt very in tune with time.
Now let me tell you – Not having me phone was awkward. I remember going to Canton with my fiancé for his IHOP fix, the roads were a bit icy, and I felt quite uneasy. I wasn’t uneasy due to the weather conditions though, I was uneasy because I was missing something that I always occupy my time with on drives. When traveling with my wonderful fiancé driving, I usually eat up my time scrolling through spotify songs, browsing Instagram or Facebook, and looking at my usual websites of 9gag and others. I couldn’t do any of this. I was forced to find other ways to occupy my time… Like actually communicating with another human being and enjoying the icy wonderland of scenery outside.
I got to see firsthand what I look like all the time on my phone too… which is very reminiscent of a zombie with fantastic dexterity. While at IHOP, I would attempt to talk to my fiancé, though he was on his phone, he would sometimes respond but was short and uninvolved in the conversation. At first I was beginning to get very mad, but then realized I was looking in the mirror when I saw all the couples/families around us absorbed in their phones as well.
What is so tempting about our phones that pulls us away from the ones we love? I sat back and thought to myself:
- Do I love my phone more than my fiancé, family, and friends? No.
- Is Facebook really that much more interesting than talking to people you’re with? It could be but with the amount of selfies and emotional baggage people post – No.
- Is Instagramming moments to share on social media for likes and feedback more important than cherishing the moment at hand? No.
If these answers were so easy and definite to answer, why do we do this? Why do I do this? I don’t have any answer other than it being something I grew up with (Xanga & MySpace) and it becoming a part of my life since almost everyone does it. I plan to use this experience to adjust my relationship with my phone and social media. I would like to spend more quality time with people and less time with the 100+ acquaintances on Facebook.
I know how ironic this blog is since I am sharing it with you via social media, but what I am trying to do is break through the noise and reach you. Think about this subject matter, and maybe even take a break from your devices. Enjoy the people around you, appreciate time, and remember life is lived by doing, not through Facebook and our phones.