Lately, I've been noticing how frequently I use my phone. Be it to clear notifications (I can't stand the red bubbles of doom!), scroll aimlessly through Facebook, or helplessly try to get myself un-lost, I have spent a lot of time peering at a tiny screen, using my index finger to maneuver my way through the world. I know I'm not the only person who wakes up in the morning & checks my phone, wasting nearly an hour watching funny videos or stalking Instagram before I even get out of bed.
Our culture seems to be obsessed with mobile phones. Although I love the convenience of having a world of knowledge at my fingertips, I am often overwhelmed by it. Pay attention & watch the people around you. We are so withdrawn as a society, because we are too busy looking at our phones to notice the strangers we pass on the street. We don't engage in conversations with the cashier because our noses are buried deep in a political debate on Twitter. We ignore the real people around us every single day. I see it every time I go to work, when couples don't speak, brothers & sisters ignore each other, all because they are withdrawn from their reality by the fantasy world of Facebook or Candy Crush Saga. Our phones have become a menace.
Last week, I noticed a lag in my ability to get work done because I am so frequently checking my phone. I love being able to text my family when I miss them, I adore when my nieces or nephews call me, & I find comfort in the security of being able to reach anyone at anytime. But, this little device in my pocket has become a nuisance. I have been more in tune with my phone than I have been with real life.
The familiar buzzing sound of a notification is exciting, but it is also quite the life suck, so this is my PSA to family & friends that I'll be putting my phone in Airplane Mode for a few hours each day. I want to remove the digital distraction so I can better focus my attention on my writing & photography. I want to improve myself without comparing my progress to others. I want to be more simplistic in how I live my life. I want to hear my heart for what it actually wants, not for what the world is telling me that it should want. I want to be more intentional & productive with my time.
I say these things for two reasons. Number one, don't panic when your texts, phone calls, & Snaps do not get an immediate response... I'm probably alive & well, I promise. Number two, I want you to think about how much time you willingly give to your electronic devices & to think about what that time is costing you. Let's all strive to be more intentional with the time we are given, okay? Okay. Now go live your life & be awesome.
"There is no WiFi in the forest, but I promise you will find a better connection."
6/20/2016 La Plata Peak route in San Isabel National Forest, Colorado
Megan Elizabeth is a storyteller based in Kalispell, Montana. Take a peek at her blog & portfolio, drop her a line, & follow her story on Facebook & Instagram.