While the closing ceremony of the Olympics was on TV last Sunday, I happened to look up from my phone to notice hundreds of athletes on their own phones as they walked with their teams for the final time in Rio. One commentator mentioned how different this scene looked in comparison to ceremonies decades ago when cell phones were not in arms reach. I thought to myself that honestly it looked kin of ridiculous; everyone taking photos, posting snapchats, looking through the screens of their devices, so caught up in trying to capture a moment that they might actually be missing.
We live in an era where being on our cell phones everyday is a normal thing. Whether we're checking Twitter, scrolling through Instagram, posting a new status on Facebook, seeing what new Snapchat filters there are, texting our friends, or playing Pokemon Go, our handheld devices appear to be running our lives. An article from June 2015 per Digital Times suggests that Americans spend about 4.7 hours a day on their phones. Considering that the average person is awake for around 15 hours, this is about a third of our day. Now maybe you're one of those anti-phone people, but speaking for the majority of us I will say that we spend way too much time on our phones. Imagine the things that could be accomplished with an extra 4.7 hours. I bet you're probably even reading this article on your phone. So I'll give you the quick 4-11 of 11 things that I hope you and I will both choose to do instead of staring at a screen for a third of our day.
1. Look up.
Put the phone down. You don't really need to be on it. Instead of walking around staring down at your phone, look up and smile at someone. You'll be surprised how many people will actually smile back.
2. Go get some exercise.
Find something active that you like to do. Play a pick-up game of basketball with your buddies, take a jog on a local trail, go to a Zumba class, go on a walk around campus. Exercise is the best way to clear your mind and you'll feel so much better about yourself after!
3. Go exploring.
Find the top things to do in your city and go do them! Hit up Goodwill. Go downtown. Get froyo with your girlfriends. Buy some healthy food at the Farmer's Market. Find a hip coffee shop. Go on a day trip. You never know what you might find!
4. Have a face to face conversation.
No more "what's up," "nm," "ttyl." Imagine how much better you could get to know someone if you actually had a conversation with them in real life.
5. Have a dance party.
You'll laugh more than you would watching a funny Vine or countless Facebook videos. Plus, there's no better way to bond with your roommates than this.
6. Write a letter to your parents.
Most of our parents were born during a time where they actually wrote letters, so imagine how much they would appreciate getting a letter from you.
7. Invite your friends over for a potluck.
Who doesn't love food? You might not be the best cook, but anybody can heat up some frozen corn dogs and buy a carton of ice cream. And that girl you know who always posts food pics on Instagram... yeah invite her too. You might have a stomachache after, but it'll all be worth it in the long run.
8. Find a hobby.
Find something you love to do and go pursue it! Photography, crafting, collecting sports memorabilia, long boarding, surfing, whatever it may be - go try it out!
9. Get lost in a good book.
You never know what you might learn. Maybe you'll even discover you want to write a book yourself. Wanna get lost in a really good book? Check out the Bible.
10. Treat yo self.
You know exactly what one thing you need to do. It's the thing you keep putting off and there's no better time to do it then now.
You got this. Don't make your phone more important than the more important things in this life. Live a little more than you have been. Put the phone down. I promise you, you won't regret it.