I’m certainly guilty of spending too much time looking at my phone in public, but I’ve decided to make a change. I’m no longer going to use my phone as a social crutch, scrolling through Twitter on the bus to avoid unwanted conversations or obsessively check my emails throughout the day to make sure I haven’t missed a new event to RSVP to. I’m going to engage with my surroundings and soak in everything I can. I’m going back to basics.
Although this video wasn’t the inspiration for my change, and it’s definitely super cheesy, I think it puts into perspective just how often we are sharing space with others who are also staring at their phones.
I’ve spent the past two weeks or so avoiding my phone in public, and it has honestly made me a happier person. I’ve been talking to strangers on the metro, people watching, and noticing more about my surroundings. When I see something interesting, I don’t necessarily pull out my phone to document it, though I do still share some stuff with friends and family on Snapchat.
There are, of course, instances when using my phone in public is unavoidable. Maybe I’m lost, or texting a friend to meet up, or have to respond to an urgent email. But if that’s the case I find a seat or lean up against a tree; I never walk and stare at my phone because it’s not only obnoxious to see someone do, but also dangerous if you aren’t paying attention. It’s 2015 and most of us are pretty dependent on our phones – that’s just our reality – but life’s far more interesting when you aren’t glued to a screen. So when you’re out and about, look up, speak up, and soak it all in.