About a month ago I had lunch with a friend and witnessed an unbelievable transformation occur before my very eyes. For the most part, it was a delightful lunch filled with great conversation, laughter, an exploration of life and self, and some tasty food. But then it happened.
She received a text message on her cell phone.
Her attention was immediately drawn away from our connection and conversation and was now being split. Ultimately, the cell phone won out as she proceeded to respond to the immediacy of the text.
Considering the possibility that perhaps this was an emergency, I allowed some space for her to respond. In the meantime, however, I thought I would get myself some water. And, being the kind person that I am, I asked if she would like a glass as well.
No response. In that instantaneous moment, it was as if I was vaporized from the planet and disappeared.
I actually found this amusing and decided to have a bit of fun with her distracted state. I next asked, “I’m going to strip naked and grab some mustard. Would you like me to pour it on you?” Still no response.
Now, before you judge this person, I ask you to examine your own life and behavior and see if you have ever found yourself torn away from those you are currently with to respond to your cell phone or hand-held device.
The irony of this situation is that one of the things my friend is working on is to be more present. I proceeded to take out my own hand-held device – a pen and a piece of paper – and wrote a message for her.
“You cannot be present to the moment until you are in the moment.”
The more I thought about this, the more I realized how our current technology and multi-tasking tendencies rip us away from the beauty and peace of the moment. They rip us from the gifts and connections to our loved ones. They steal our opportunity to be present to the miracles of life.
With that in mind, I invite you to put down your cell phone and be more present with those you are with. Rather than being with your machines, be with the people around you, nature, your thought or the moment. Be fully present to all that is around you.
Men have become the tools of their tools.
– Henry David Thoreau
I am continually amazed at how distracted we are in life. It seems that with each passing year we are given more technological tools to stay connected. Yet, the irony of that is the more “connected” we are, the less connected we seem to be.
Leave a comment below sharing a story you experienced where a friend or loved one vaporized you from the planet as they became absorbed in their cell phone or hand-held device and became disconnected from you and life.