Put The Phone Away And Be In The Moment
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put the phone down...you wont regret it

The moment wont last forever, but the app will.

put the phone down...you wont regret it

This summer I had the privilege of being able to travel to Israel for two weeks through a program called Birthright. I learned so much about myself and about the Israeli culture while on this trip. I was taught so many different lessons during my time in Israel, but there is one concept in specific that really stuck with me throughout my trip, a concept that I hope to hold on to and take along with me for the rest of my life.

While in Israel, I didn't have a working phone plan and therefore couldn't use my phone during my two weeks there. I was able to use it at hotels when there was available Wi-Fi – but for the most part, I spent those two weeks completely unplugged from my phone. At first, it was an adjustment. While everyone else spent long bus rides scrolling through Snapchat or Instagram, I would look around aimlessly, unsure of what to do during this time. At the end of the day, not having a working phone turned out to enhance my experience and make it the best that it could possibly be.

I believe that we look towards social media as a means to escape situations we find awkward. We are conditioned to hate that feeling of uncomfortableness so much, that the second we begin to feel it we all just turn towards our phones to aimlessly scroll through Snapchat, or Instagram. I, myself, am guilty of this and it is something I definitely need to work on. Instead of putting yourself out there, it is so much easier to hide behind your phone. We are all so consumed with social media that at times it is hard for us to know how to act without it. This is why it is so important to let yourself embrace those feelings of uncomfortableness. To not hide behind your phone, the second you begin to feel it. I advise everyone to try and embrace those moments the next time you're unsure of what to do with yourself. The next time you begin to feel that uncomfortable feeling, don't reach for the phone but instead strike up a conversation with someone you normally wouldn't have with. I promise you, it's amazing what can happen.

A couple of days into the trip, I was able to adjust to this new lifestyle and fully embrace every minute of not having a phone. I began to care less and less about what others were doing from their Snapchat stories, or who was posting what on Instagram. I became so much more aware of my surroundings and was able to fully be present in every single activity that we did. It was no longer about doing the activity so that I was able to post about it, but rather doing the activity because I, myself, enjoyed it. Being phoneless forced me to take those feelings of uncertainty and spend it on striking up conversations and meeting the other people in my group to begin forming relationships with them. I was still able to use my phone to take pictures, but the most profound memories I have will be from the moments I was able to enjoy for myself rather than for others looking at my social media.

I believe that without a phone you are able to connect more with others, be more present in every situation, and force yourself to overcome those feelings of uncomfortableness with a conversation which can lead to new relationships. Not having a phone and unplugging from all social media this summer is so crucial and I believe everyone should try it out for a couple of days. Your Snapchats will still be there waiting for you, and your Instagram page won't go anywhere, but you will be able to see just how present you are able to be without having to worry about what others are doing even if it's just for a moment of time. You will be able to see your full potential and just how great life can be when you put all of that energy spent looking at other people's lives, into making the most of yours.

When I got home, I decided to delete the Instagram and Snapchat apps off of my phone just for a couple of days. I wanted to see how I will be influenced at home without these apps, and how much I can focus on myself when I don't have the constant distraction of what others around me are doing. Although it has only been two days, I already feel more focused on myself and more aware of the present. Rather than scrolling through social media aimlessly I am spending that time with family or friends, or even looking into that job or internship I have always wanted but constantly kept getting too distracted to ever look up.

Of course, it is ridiculous to say that one should delete all of their social media accounts altogether. They definitely do have positive aspects and can be used for good as well. I do believe that this summer if you can, take a couple of hours or even days without checking your social media once, and you will see your potential and just how present and capable you are, more than you ever thought you could be. So go out there, put the phone down and be present in every single moment. These precious moments won't last forever, but your Snapchats and Instagram feed will.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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