Are You Present in Your Life?
I was in the toilet in BWI airport this week and I encountered the strangest situation. On both sides of me, there was a person talking on their cell phone! There I was, doing my business and having to listen to two people's conversations while they were going to the toilet. Thank God they did not have video phones.
Which brings me to my point. Can we ever disconnect and enjoy the moment? It seems we cannot even take time to go to the toilet. Think about it. Technology has taken over our lives. Remember the day when you landed in a plane and you actually spoke to the person next to you about how the flight was or wished them well on the next leg of their journey? Now, as soon as the first bit of rubber touches the runway, everybody pops out their cell phones in a symphony of on button ring tones to tell whoever cares "hi we just landed!"
I have a good friend, Jeffrey Combs, who teaches in his breakthrough seminars that we should live "in the moment" or "be present in the now". Can the average person even say that with any degree of honesty? Next time you are in a restaurant, count the number of cell phones that are sitting on the tables. Watch how many times each person looks at them as if to say, "oh! I am waiting for the most important call of my life. Maybe it will be Oprah!" Then to add insult to injury, the bloody phone rings (loudly with the most funky ringtone) and the person actually answers it and just has a chat while their lunch guest sits there twiddling his or her thumbs. Is that rude or what? It was probably just their mom asking them to stop for milk on the way home!
To be fair, I should also have a go at the iPod craze. Don't get me wrong, I have an iPod (video no less) and an ipad2. In fact, I typed this hub on my ipad2 from Baltimore to LA. However, I do not listen to my iPod 24/7 nor am I rude to others with the iPad. Most kids today cannot even function if they are not touching their iPod touch within 10 seconds after waking. My own daughter does not cope if she can't check her smurf village in the morning to see if any died overnight or if she missed picking blueberries! Then, several times a day, she must plant certain items or the village blows up and we start world war 3 with the surfs!
I am a big fan of theme parks. The closest one to me in the states is Hershey Park, in Hershey, PA. I did a YouTube on texting and cell phone madness. Have a look! That video was done over a year ago and nothing has changed since. This year, there were just as many people texting, chatting, iming, blogging, iphoning, and whatever else there is. Do they really enjoy the experience or are they just trying to be everything to everybody and be so "available" for their bosses or friends? Are we that worried that we will miss out on something by being somewhere else or doing something else?
Like, omg, what if Susie has her baby while I am on the roller coaster? I just have to know the second it happens! What if I can't connect to my Facebook to see if Lauren got an A on her history test? What if somebody wants to be my friend? My gosh, they might retract the request if I don't reply this millisecond. What will happen if I miss my RSS feed stating that Glee will be cancelled this season! How will I cope if all my friends find out before I do?
Are our lives turning into such a state where we are so worried about what will happen outside our current situation that we cannot focus or enjoy what is happening right now? Do we have to know what is happening every second in every corner of the globe? Do we really need to televise war?
At the time of writing this, the USA is in the midst of a financial crisis, yet the average American is worried about missing out on trivial matters or they are walking down the street with their head down waiting to get run over by a car while texting their friends about the latest crap they watched on tv. You know that person. You see them everyday. Maybe the government wants us to be like this. Plugged into technology, playing silly games or face booking to death while they fight over how to spend our tax money and run the country into the ground and pile up debt. I will save that for another hub!
In the meantime, what are you doing with your time. Are you ignoring the moment? Are you "present" with the people in your life? I remember the old tv shows showing a husband reading the paper at breakfast while his wife is sitting across the table wanting to have a conversation. I submit to you, that the only thing different is that the paper has been replaced by phone, computer, or iPod.
Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the people you are with. Too much technology can be a bad thing.