This morning, I was patiently sitting at the bus stop. What a perfect opportunity to check my email, glaze over Instagram and Facebook! As my morning ritual would have it, I’d already done these things a few times but I was hoping some revelatory news would grace the screen of my iPhone. So, I continued to refresh and switch back and forth between apps. I was torn away by the sound of a diesel engine that I was duped into thinking was my bus leaving without me. My adrenaline raced and I jerked my head away from my demon device to see, pulling away, was the mystical SquarePlanet icon that is the Guinness “Fortune Favors the Bold” delivery truck. In that moment, I felt regret. This was a prime opportunity to capture our powerful message and I missed it–for what? Pictures of photogenic food? Shameful.
I realized, in that moment, I have a problem—I am one of the many (read majority) who bury their faces into devices and tune out the world. It’s easy, and that’s why we do it. So I made the hard choice and kept my phone in my pocket the entire way to the office. In my device-less journey I noticed a few things:
- What’s happening around me is much more eventful than what’s happening with celebrities. I watched a woman hug her son as she dropped him off for school. That was pretty cool.
- People who are stuck on their phones don’t smile as much as people who aren’t.
- People who pay attention to others, instead of being stuck in their digital bubble, are more likely to use manners.
- When the bus made a stop, I wasn’t freaking out because I thought it was my stop. Time tends to disappear when I’ve got my head down and headphones in.
I made it into the office and something clicked… I got to experience 20 minutes of life—real life. There isn’t an app for that. From now on, I’ll be making a strong effort to engage the world around me by keeping my devices at bay.
I came across a blog last week that seemed quite fitting for today’s experience: www.notonappstore.com
It’s the coolest assortment of life experiences you can’t find on the App Store. They provide downloadable templates for you to print stickers or you can purchase one for $1. Once you have that, you can submit photos of your life experiences to them to post on their blog. Genius!