A few days back, I had gone out with my friends for lunch. ‘Fortunately’, I must say, I forgot to charge my phone or carry a power-bank. So, finding myself ‘phone-less’ for a while – and feeling like a prehistoric man for a few minutes – I was finally able to realise some things.
As a matter of fact, I realised five things that day:
Not having a phone with me meant spending a nice time with everyone, including myself. However, while observing the people around me, I concluded that these days, people have become slaves of technology.
Most of my friends were busy messaging others, updating their Facebook statuses, uploading snaps, etc. All the while, they unintentionally ignored and neglected each other. Everyone seemed so frantic on not missing a message or a piece of news on social media that they missed whatever was going around them.
It didn’t seem like they were the ones who owned the phone. Rather, their phones owned them.
During the time I spent without my phone, I was able to dwell on the fact that technology has really messed up our levels of attention.
In fact, none of my friends was able to hold a decent conversation without checking his/her phone every five minutes. It got so bad that many of them kept refreshing their Facebook and Snapchat feeds, again and again.
It seemed to me as though we’re losing our quality of being good listeners. We get distracted far too often.
See, we’re living in a fast-paced world. These days, everyone is busy and we have very less time to give to each other.
On the other hand, it’s our duty to give time to our friends, family and loved ones, whenever we can. That day, I witnessed the complete opposite of this. Instead of catching up, spending time with each other and making memories after so long, no one seemed bothered about any of this. This was disturbing, because, being their friend, I felt like they needed to bond.
It feels like technology has pulled everyone apart. We no longer crave for human affection or love. Rather, we seek the embrace of virtual reality. After all, these days, we’re more interested in looking at a seven-second-story on Snapchat, rather than listening to the story of a fellow person.
It seems like everyone is determined to have the biggest storage space (a 2 TB hard drive or a 128 GB pen drive, for example) in their phones and their other devices to store every photo they ever clicked.
These days, during outings, meet-ups, lunches, dinners, or even breakfasts, most of the time is normally spent in clicking photos or selfies. I don’t see the point of this. Basically, you’re trying to ‘save’ memories (of an event you may not have fully participated in) – but what about your own memories? It’s like going to a live concert, recording it with a video camera without actually enjoying it – and then feeling good about it.
I don’t see the point in clicking photos of food, selfies (captioned as ‘All Time Best’) and a trillion snapshots, when you yourself are clearly not participating enough. Therefore, we should focus more on making real memories, rather than clicking and saving them on phones.
The most vital thing I learnt from that experience is not to miss out on the beautiful things happening around me. We need to take a break from our phones and give time to our own self and our loved ones.
Start living in the moment. Eat food without clicking it, dance without snapping it, visit places without ‘checking in’ with Facebook and hold conversations without texting anyone else. Live in the present and make beautiful memories. Observe your surroundings, observe people, observe the sky, the trees, the birds, the dogs and everything you like.
Just have the patience and will to not get distracted by technology – and start living!