You’re arriving at a red-light after leaving work, you’re fumbling in your pockets trying to grab your phone, you’ve been dreaming of this Margarita since 10 a.m. and you need your phone to update your status to let people know you’re at Cantina- Whatever.
You arrive at Cantina-Whatever, your friends are all sitting down already- you start to panic that they’re already having fun without you and you’ve missed the gossip or worse, they are talking about you. You look up with one eye, and you text your boyfriend with the other “Be back later. Going to have a few drinks”.
“Urgh, where did that car come from? I’m obviously walking,” you think to yourself as the Lexus pulling out of the to-go lane almost rams into you.
“Hi guys,” you say as you sit, but all of your friends are scrolling their phones and look up to give you a half high. You subtly enjoy the happy hour, but spend most of your time texting as does everyone else.
Later, you’ll all take a Instagram photo, giving other people FOMO thinking “Why don’t I ever do anything after work?”, but in all reality, you spent your times on your phone and didn’t really even engage, except to get in close and make it look like SO much fun.
What if we put down our screens and talked to each other face to face? What if we walked over to our co-workers instead of G-chatting them all day? What if we went and visited our family instead of emailing back and forth everyday?
We’re plugged in constantly. We’re connected through our social media accounts, texting, emailing, Pinteresting, Linked-In-ing, whatever possible way to connect with others, we’re doing it- except IRL.
Have you forgotten what your best friend from college who lives in South Florida sounds like? Have you forgotten what your childhood bedroom looks like? When’s the last time you went somewhere without updating your Facebook status? Did you just tweet about this?
Here are three major ways you can benefit from living outside of your phone, don’t worry we don’t look too bad without those eight filters we put on Instagram to let you know “I woke up like this”, so look up from your screen and check out the world, and reap the benefits.
1. A New Sense of Calm
Spending your time Instagramming when you get a moment to breathe “Doesn’t my office lamp look so cool?” can really be counter-productive for your stress levels. If you channel your downtime into chilling out, rather than connecting to others through texting, Facebook, etc. you may find that you are much calmer as the day progresses. Next time you have a second, take a few deep breaths, look out the window- ah, isn’t the world nice when you glance up?
2. A Connection to What You Really Want, and Who You Really Want
When you aren’t portraying your life in a Sepia filter 24/7 and pretending it is what it isn’t- you may have time to contemplate if the major, the job, or the way you’re living your life is really for you. We are masters at distracting ourselves so we don’t have to think about these things, but it’s important. What do you want? Furthermore, who do you want? Is your boyfriend, girlfriend, or friends really the one(s) for you, or have you been too busy making it seem that way on Facebook to really know?
3. Deeper Relationships
When you look up from the screen, hide your phone at dinner and lunch, and truly take time to connect with your friends and family over the spoken word, you can see their body language, understand their verbal cues and really hear what they’re saying (sans emoticons).
See you IRL.