Get Off Your Phone & Do These 4 Things Instead
By Manuela Domingos
Undoubtedly, social media has presented itself as a platform to thrive. Technology has paved ways for human interaction that was once deemed impossible. Through one click, I am able to communicate something that would have taken months to receive thousands of years ago.
There is a dark side to this virtual reality, however, that has taken a toll on millions. It is a silent epidemic that has captured a part of our minds: the inability to remain present. Seemingly, we’re more and more connected to our phones each day than we are with the people around us. Are we living in the moment or are we simply “hurrying” to catch the moment?
I’ve compiled a list of ways we can remain present. Anything done in minimization is healthy. Technology is one of them.
1. Put the Phone Away, Enjoy the Moment. This may sound simple, but surprisingly difficult to do. I’m especially guilty of this. When you’re surrounded by friends and family, it is important to listen. Put the phone away. The most creative inspirations derive from conversations with people. Often times we miss them because we are so glued to our screens.
2. Enjoy the Moment More, Capture the Moment Less. This is an extremely tough one. It’s almost natural instinct that we are inclined to “snap” everything or take pictures and videos. We want to capture the moment the candles are being blown, or the minute something worthy of being posted online has happened. True, we may have memories to look back to and reminisce, but often times we miss the authentic emotions that happen when we see things through a lens instead of with fresh eyes. Moments experienced naturally are the most memorable ones.
3. Embrace Nature. When I think of the opposite of technology, immediately, I think of nature. I once took a walk around my neighborhood and left my phone at home. During this walk, I made the conscious decision to pay attention to every detail around me, every sound, every feeling. After each block, I focused on a different sense. At the end of my walk, I felt invigorated and new. Go for walks at the park, visit the arboretum. Nature is the language of man.
4. Detox. Set personal goals to become more present; get rid of the very thing that distracts you. If you notice that you spend more time on social media than interacting with others, cut down the amount of hours you spend online. If you have to go a week without checking your Facebook, do so. Taking baby steps in achieving a certain mindset is the goal.
Overall, realize that everything done in moderation is key. You don’t have to completely get rid of technology, but recognize the moments you are not present when they occur. Minimize the distractions. Be present.