Before I get to what’s on my mind today, I want to remind you that tomorrow is discussion day for the Read With Us summer book selection, Unsettled Ground. Bonny and Kym and I will be posting questions on our blogs and then holding a zoom meet up at 7pm EST to discuss the book with anyone interested. It’s not too late to join us, just leave a comment or send me an email and I’ll make sure you get an invite.
I went for a haircut on Friday and had to wait a few minutes for my stylist. While I was sitting there, a young woman was brought over to sit under the hair dryer. Her stylist made a point of telling her, “if you’re on your phone, make sure you hold it up at eye level so you aren’t looking down at it, otherwise the front of your hair won’t be getting enough heat.” Made perfect sense to me but I didn’t think too much of it at the time.
Then, last night, Dale and I were watching the Patriot’s game and every time they scanned the crowd I was struck by how many spectators were looking at their phones. I’d guess it was 1 in 4 that was looking down at a cell phone . . . while at a major (and rather expensive) sporting event.
Now. I’m probably shouldn’t judge, as I have an iPhone that I’m very attached to and I enjoy time on Facebook and Instagram and (lately anyway) TikTok. But, I like to think, and I’m aware that I could be very wrong about this, that I’m pretty cognizant of putting down the phone and . . . you know . . . living my life. Being present. Engaging with the people and things happening around me. I can absolutely tell you that I wouldn’t be looking down at a phone while attending a Pat’s game.
I think it’s safe to say that cell phones and devices are here to stay and an accepted part of our daily lives. At the same time, though, I think we have to be very careful about just how much we’re engaging with these devices and how much we might actually be missing by not putting down the phone and looking around. Phones are a great tool for so may things (remind me to tell you about the great meal planning app I just started using) and I have a lot of apps that I use that are not related to social media at all . . . Spotify and podcasts and Audible and so much more. And none of it is wrong. But some of it . . . well . . . maybe it’s too much.
I’m making a promise to myself, and I’m telling all of you so that I don’t forget, to engage more with people I am with and not so much with those on the screen. To save the social media stuff for when I’m alone. To be fully present.
I’m a firm believer in you-do-you, so please don’t take this as me lecturing you on your personal cell phone habits. But if you’ve got a little voice telling you that you’re maybe on TikTok too much (raises hand) then perhaps you’d like to reconsider how you spend your time, too.
And that’s what’s on my mind this Monday.