A couple of weekends ago I sat in the back of a 4,000 women worship service. While being surrounded by amazing music-with the entire goal to draw you into a place of worship-I couldn’t help but notice the amount of women holding up their cell phones. I couldn’t stop noticing it. It was suddenly everywhere. Women filming the worship service. Women taking selfies. Women taking pictures of friends. During. Worship.
Then I realized-we’ve lost the ability to be in the moment. How many times have you been at dinner with your friends and you pick up your phone. For nothing. Not because you got a text or an alert but just because you might have. I do it all the time. I’m bored, I pick up my phone. I’m in the middle of work, I pick up my phone. I spend so much time on it that I forget to look around. I forget about my actual human connections. Do you do this too? I’m betting yes. I’m betting that the little notification light on your phone drives you just as crazy as it does me. To the point where I have to turn my phone upside down at night so it doesn’t wake me up in the middle of the night-because it will. As I type this, my phone is right next to me-plugged in. Just so I don’t miss a text. It’s just crazy.
As a population have we lost the ability to just be present in the day? Maybe asking people to be present in the day is too much. Can we at least be present when people are talking to us? At meals. During meetings. During presentations. While we are just sitting as a family.
You know what the problem is when you spend most of your time communicating via text/instant messaging/facebook? You only view the conversation through one lens. You only know your part of the conversation. You only know your tone. You only have a reference of previous conversations. You are missing the nonverbal cues. I fully believe that is why so much miscommunication happens when talking online.
My friends live so far away that I rely on my phone to keep up on their lives. I love my phone. I love the instant communication opportunities it gives me. I don’t love what it has done to me. I don’t love changing my day around the damn thing. I have left things early because my phone is dying. I just want to do better.