A few months back this video went viral:
After watching, Facebook and YouTube comments from viewers were about nothing but keeping cell phones in purses, off the table, engaging in real life more.
But with over 34,000,000 views this video had, I would have thought the actual impact would have been greater.
Since seeing it, I have spent a lot of time in observation of the way we spend our time now - waiting in line, sitting at a restaurant table, driving down the road. Everyone is fixated on a 4 inch screen with it's information, it's connectivity, it's endless possibilities.
Whatever did we do before this hand-help computer became an extension of our hand?
My job managing social media accounts and communicating with a team of 20 every day doesn't really afford as much unplugged time as I want. I've made a conscious decision to leave my phone in my car, my purse, my pocket, the other room. My boyfriend is always asking me why I'll check my phone when he leaves the room and turn it off the moment he is back. The answer is simple: real life face time means so much more to me than FaceTime.
Without realizing, in a hurry to add more errands before a meeting, I left my phone in the car. Across the street. There's a slight sense of nakedness that accompanies being cell-less. A vulnerability that exists. It's almost as if we are so enamored with words on a screen that having our focus up to give a friendly smile to a stranger is foreign or maybe even frightening.
But scary as it may seem, there may be a series of tiny miracles waiting to happen.
I walked through the automatic doors and greeted the door man with a "good afternoon" and he gave me a head nod and wink. A sweet little old man who, several times before, I have blown past checking a list of texts or responding to an email.
I grabbed my bottle of choice and headed to the checkout. Two lanes opens. Half a dozen customers in each. The woman in front of me had a cart full of groceries. She stood next to the cart, hands on her stomach, annoyed look on her face. Another woman joined behind me. A huge sigh was let out at her discovery that she wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.
I reached in my jacket pocket to pull out my phone for a distraction since I wasn't going anywhere for a while. Empty. Slight panic. Then I noticed the woman in front of me with no phone. I looked ever further. No one standing in line had a cell phone out. No one.
I left the line to check out at customer service. The gentleman behind the counter rudely explained he was not open for my disposal. I turned around to head back to the line where more people had gathered. The woman I stood in front of motioned for me to take my place back in line and quietly said, "He was rude!" Upon my gratitude for her generosity, conversations started up. I learned the woman in front of me was 3 weeks away from having her first son. The woman behind me was trying to hurriedly buy a card and flowers for a coworker on her lunch break.
Once strangers, now suddenly friends.
The mom-to-be insisted I go ahead of her with my one item. The cashier told me how much she loved my jacket. The old man at the door called me "darlin'"on my way out and in that moment I realized that none of that lovely exchange could have happened if my nose was stuck in a text.
Some of the best moments in life are so quick, so instant, so incredible that we don't even have the technology to capture everything forever. Hopefully technology won't be able to catch up fast enough that we can truly keep living in the miraculous little moments.
As I sit today at the airport with a layover between me and my destination, I'm going to keep my phone in my pocket. I'm inviting more moments and little miracles.
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