I do not spend that much time on my phone. I am usually too busy to be looking at social media or spending mindless hours on my phone. I cannot say that this is always the case, but most of the time my phone is with me but I am not on it. I am usually mindful of what I am doing on my phone. I know when I have been on too long, I know when I am using it to distract me from more important agendas, and I know when I need to turn it off and enjoy what is around me. Something that I need to do better is to learn how to regulate my time when I have time to look at my phone. The most common time for me to look at it is when I am in class. I need to learn that class time is important no matter what we are learning. I often feel as though the material is self-explanatory or easy so I find myself looking at my phone or messing around on my computer. Sometimes, I will work on other homework, so I guess that is a productive task.
I believe that technology is putting us two steps forward and one step back. While this may not seem like that huge of an impact, it is impacting the most important aspect of human life. Communication. Communication is the part of humans that makes us human. While other animals and creatures can communicate we have formed the most intrinsic of languages. But we rarely use it. We are constantly texting, emailing, face timing, tweeting, commenting, posting, etc. but we are never having in-person conversations. One effect I have seen in my life is that instead of facing someone when I have a problem or concern I text them. This way I can hide behind the mask of the message rather than facing the person head on. I fear that this will impact my future and well being if I cannot figure out how to conquer the issue. We need to look up.
This video above really captures the idea of digital mindfulness. We get so lost in our technology that we are missing so much happening right in front of us. You never know the chances that you could miss if you are looking down. So look up! In the Ted talk by Paul Miller, he talks about how he became more emotionally available when he was off the internet for a year. He really took in everything around him and saw it for how it was. He wasn’t taking pictures, or sharing his experience on twitter, but rather taking in the entire experience. I think it would be good for each and every one of us to put down the device just for a moment. Look up and see. Not through a screen, but through your eyes. Be still and know where you are and live through the experience…don’t just document it.
I tried the Moment app and wanted to see what would happen throughout the day. The truth is that I do not spend much time on my phone, but what I noticed was that I was using my phone more when there was something else going on. In class, talking to a friend, hanging out with a group, or working on homework, that is when I went on to social media. I hope you get the app and try it out. Change your habits and start living today through your eyes and not your screen.