Every morning when I wake up, I check my phone. What do I look at? Texts. Snapchat. Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. And then I repeat the process because I might have missed out on something in the past 2 minutes when I was looking at another form of social media. I never truly noticed the attachment I had with my phone until I didn’t have it anymore.
I decided to perform a test. I wanted to see what it would be like to not have my phone for the day.
At the start of my day, my initial thought was to grab my phone before I walked out the door. Instead, I left it in my room. Sitting in class, I wondered if I had any notifications or if anyone was trying to get in contact with me. Not having my phone made it easier to focus in class, though. I didn’t have to constantly check my phone every 3 or 4 minutes to see if someone responded.
Walking phoneless from class to class, I noticed something that I had definitely never noticed before (because I was doing it too). I noticed that every single person I saw was holding a phone in his or her hand. People crossing the street had their faces buried so deep in text conversations. Every single person I saw was using his or her phone.
This was the first time I was ever noticing it. I saw how their phones slowed them down. Because they were so indulged in their devices, they didn’t know what is going on around them. People were walking out into the street when they weren’t supposed to. Can you guess why? They were glued to their phones.
One thing that I learned from this little “experiment” was that whether or not I had my phone on me, the messages, alerts and notifications would still be there even if I didn’t check for them every couple of minutes. Our society is so mesmerized by immediate responses and the amount of likes they have the potential to receive on their pictures.
My main takeaway from this was realizing the importance of human contact. Texting someone all day can give you something to do, but it doesn’t have the same effect as physically spending time with a person. Texting doesn’t allow you to hear how someone talks or sense emotion in someone’s voice about a certain topic. You can’t see all the little things that make them smile or laugh. All you get is a “haha” or an "lol." Snapchat allows you to send photos of yourself from a perfected angle with a flawless filter to make sure you look absolutely fantastic to a person for 5 seconds and then it’s gone. The same concept applies with Instagram. In both situations, you only get to see what the person wants you to see. They show you nothing but the best version of themselves.
My main point is that it’s not real. Social media is not real life.
It’s important for you to realize that your life shouldn’t be lived through a tiny, glass screen. You don’t realize how big and wonderful the world is until you look up and actually see it.
Go explore and see what the world has to offer. Venture to a new city. Go for a walk with your friends. Meet up with someone at a coffee shop. Try out a new activity. But most importantly, pick your head up from your phone and open your eyes.
The possibilities are endless.