Life: Not Available on the App Store

July 8, 2014

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:

  1. 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.
  2. People who are stuck on their phones don’t smile as much as people who aren’t.
  3. People who pay attention to others, instead of being stuck in their digital bubble, are more likely to use manners.
  4. 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:

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!


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