Put It Down

I write and edit stories and the YouTube show I do with fellow writer Gary Buller, during my commute to and from work. At lunch I edit some more videos, or edit stories. I listen to music and podcasts. Maybe here and there I'll check some stats, but for videos I've posted. 

Twitter is a love/hate relationship. It gives me agita at times, and there are moments it's cool. 

Then I realized something. I looked up and saw just about everyone else looking down, arms twisted up to secure a screen before their eyes for a constant eye-v (get it? Haha.) 

But it is like that. This is mostly not a joke. And I felt strange. Like seeing something for the first time. I've seen this every day, sure, but now I realized the severity of it all. 

Something they don't want you to know, bwa hahahaha. 

But seriously. At the time the thought past over me fast, but the residue remained. And the next time I looked up from my phone, I started to realize something.

Twitter and Facebook (and others). They want you to plug in over and over, never mind that thing you have to do, never mind life going on all around you. Just check your likes, your hearts. Don't look up while crossing the street. No. We need you to see this thing that everyone is going mad about. Keep your eyes glued, neck bent forward. What's a doctor's visit and some new physical condition when you can be close to your friends and loved ones constantly.

It's funny, it almost seems like that movie where everyone is plugged into a mainframe where we look at life through the window of a computer, or cell phone. 

Wait a second.

Is it okay to engage? Sure. But when you look up on a train, or while walking down a street and see everyone with their arms bent, necks canned, fingers swiping, then you know something is wrong. Oh, and if you feel a bit disoriented, that might be a sign of something more serious. 

No, really. Its a neck condition from looking down constantly at your phone. 

It's got us chained. That alert and buzz, just a reminder we're trapped, tethered to a world that is not. It tramples on our social skills, confining us even more with an invisible fear--in some cases. 

I received an Android watch as a gift one year from my wife. I had waited a long time because I didn't see the point in them, other than the Fitbit thing. But as the features grew, so did its usefulness. And that was the start of this thought process. 

I wanted to break away from my phone, to be able to look up and not have a pain in my neck and sore bloodshot eyes. The watch allowed me to do this, only looking down, as you'd do to see the time, for notifications. 

If they weren't important, a swipe would remove them from the phone. 

When I took my phone out to check the time, and this would be an easy way not to keep turning my phone on and becoming enticed with the possibilities. 

I mean. Think of all the productivity that could be had? Social Media, YouTube, endless things to check up on over and over again. 

No. Now I mostly use my phone to really use my phone. To edit things, to listen to music as I look out at the world as I ride the train, or walk down the street. 

Think of all the life experiences that are missed while focusing on this little device--for the wrong reasons, of course. 

It's most likely the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night.

But, just like a personal computer, or laptop, they can be useful. And with some discipline you can put them down and look up. See the world. Because we have a limited time here. And we are speeding ahead to that ending point, life a flash all around.

So this holiday, think about that. Reach back behind your heard, pull out that cable connected to your brain, throw it spurting to the ground. Think about how many times you pick up your phone. What are you doing with it? Something productive, or just plugging into the Matrix and letting them suck your energy?

I'm not saying throw the darned thing away. No way. I love my phone. But, just realize what it was meant for. And what we're meant for. 

Go for a walk, look at Christmas lights. Breath in as your eyes dance upon the treetops and soft clouds. Have some food as you look at your family and friends around the table. Alive. Because you don't know what will be there next time you look up from your phone.



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