Saturday, April 5, 2014

It's OK to put down your smart phone

Smartphones, for most of us, are always within reach, and in most cases they have become an extra appendage. Remember the last time you forgot your phone at home and the ensuing panic that followed until you were reunited with it.
There's even a term for cell phone addiction called "nomophobia," meaning "no mobile phone phobia." For thousands of years, we have operated by having intimate conversations with each other were we laughed, told stories, and connected face to face.

A few weeks ago I was at the Calgary Flames Vs Ottawa Senators game and sitting next to a man who was sitting next to his 4 yr old son. His son was attending his first ever live NHL game and you could tell he was excited. He was asking his dad questions about every play and what was going on.

His dad had his face buried in his smart phone and ignored the boy completely for at least 3 or 4 minutes. The boy stopped talking waiting for a response and the man never said a word. The little boy stared at him and then went right to his soda. Here's this boy as his first NHL game ever a memory he will never forget and here's his father texting away and tweeting photos of how awesome his seats are little does he know the effect he's having on his child.

As someone that attends a lot of concerts & live sporting events this is something I’ve seen more and more. We have forgotten how to enjoy the moment and instead want to post on Facebook & Twitter about how great a time we’re having, yet everyone seems to be glued to their phones.

I feel we have lost the ability to “Enjoy The Moment” and instead need to post the moment on our social media pages. I remember going to my first ever concert when I was in Grade nine Alice Cooper & Motorohead. I couldn't wait for the next day of school to talk about it with my friends about how awesome it was but that doesn't exist anymore.

I used to go out to the pub with friends a few times a week and always had my phone on the table, but then I made a decision to keep my phone in my pocket all night and talk to people. The first night I did this I felt like I was at the bar by myself. The eight people I was with were all glued to their phones tweeting & facebooking their night away. 

I was at a Tim Hortons recently and saw five teenagers sitting in the corner glued to their cell phones and not talking to each other for about thirty minutes straight. They got up to leave, and I saw one of them zombified to his cell phone leave his bag.

I called out to him and said “Hey man you forgot your bag” without even looking from his phone he grabbed his bag I got a "Thanks man!" and he ran after his friends to catch up.

The next time you are on a flight anywhere watch what happens as soon as the plane lands, people are fidgeting, panicking as if that phone in their pocket is a drink of water in the Sahara desert and God forbid their phone has been off for over and hour and someone may have tweeted them, texted or tagged them in a face book photo.

Just remember folks as Juan Pablo would say “Eeetz Ok”

It’s Ok to put down your phone for awhile and enjoy the moment. Maybe call a friend and ask them “What’s New” without checking their facebook page or Twitter timeline to see what they've updated.

Here’s some ideas for how to put your phone away:

Phone stacking – When you go out to the pub with friends friends, institute a rule that you will all pile up your phones on the table, and the first person to grab his or her phone buys everyone at the table a round of drinks.

Focus on being present – Try to engage in the moment, and with the people around you. Use “self-talk” to remind yourself, “I am talking to this person right now”. Staying active can also be helpful. Take time to go on walks, exercise, meditate, and breathe. All of these activities can help people to stay in the present moment.

Take a “Technology Holiday” – Take a day, a weekend or even a week off from your phone and email. Time away from screens can help you reset. You don’t need to be sitting on a lounge chair by the palm trees to put up an away message.

Get a watch – Sometimes we use our phone or computer to tell time. When we do this we may get sucked we may get sucked into another application or email. Having a regular timepiece may spare us those extra temptations.

Now feel free to Tweet or share this write up on your Facebook & Twitter pages 

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