I have a really bad habit of relying on my phone to be my company when I am out somewhere alone. I use it to be my entertainment and my bragging point (even when I’m not alone). I didn’t realize I was doing this as often as I was until the other day.
I walked out of the office suite I work in to see students, all sitting alone at separate tables, and all of which were on their phones. Not one single one paid any mind to the person sitting ten feet away nor me as I walked by. It caught me by surprise to see the lack of interaction among individuals who crave community and human interaction at the stage of development they are each in.
I am just as bad, if not worse, about this when I am in public. Uncomfortable situation? Grab your phone. Sitting alone in a restaurant? Be on your phone. It’s the equivalent to appearing you are not alone in this world. There is a connection and you need for others to see that.
But what is happening is that we are becoming so accustomed to living life through a device, through social media, that we forget how to live it in real life. We begin to gloss our lives into a fantasy world so that others will envy us, when often times, we truly are lonely and need human, personal connection. We are forgetting how to have conversations without the phone present. We are forgetting that not every moment needs to be captured with a photo or posted online.
For a single, who regularly lives life across from an empty chair at dinner or a solo hike, that’s incredibly difficult. But losing a sense of personal connection in real life is a far harder thing to deal with. My goal today is to engage in real human living connections I have and set my phone aside.
It’s amazing what you will see when you just look up and look around.