Whenever you go out for an informal coffee or lunch with someone, what will invariably happen is that you’re guaranteed to get interrupted with a jingle off the smartphone, signaling an incoming text or phone call, and then there’s a mad scramble to check who’s receiving it.
You’ll both immediately look at your devices while abandoning any conversation, attempting to trump who’s more important.
You may of just got a brand new smartphone yourself, and you’re not yet familiar with all of its nuances as you fumble and lose calls while attempting to text while using the tiny virtual keyboard.
You could be out and about in an unfamiliar part of town, being vaguely familiar with that neighborhood, but you don’t bother paying attention to where you’re at since you can rely on your trusty smartphone for directions, look up an address, or phone for a taxi.
You’re out driving in your car somewhere that you’ve been to before on numerous occasions, but your mind goes completely blank while having no memory recall of the route, as what you’re now accustomed to is the commands off the GPS.
Becoming A Slave To Automation
If you go back 100 years, experts spoke of the potential of the over reliance on clocks, as timepieces were popping up everywhere. Clocks showing the exact time could be found on the wall, the desk, and on wrists. It became too convenient knowing what the exact time was, while not relying on any other means.
Fast forward to today, we now consider it ancient history that our forefathers relied on a sundial to know what the approximate time was since that was all they had, they needed to know where the sun was situated.
We have no clue or care on how or why time is resolved, as we know that the exact current time appears on the home screen of our smartphones, and we just take it for granted.
The reason of it’s existence is completely irrelevant to us when it comes to its relationship with nature and the universe.
Our Electronic Brains
Whenever you look around the streets of any city, almost everyone has their head buried and are staring down into their smartphone screens. Hardly no one looks around at others any more, look at the tall buildings around them, the trees or the sky, appreciating the beauty of nature.
We now hardly ever notice where we are, where we’re standing. We’ve become a species of upright sheep living inside our own isolated pods. We’re completely disconnected from each other as well as the physical world around us.
Our most intimate relationship is with our electronic devices, and we’re only a reflection of what they provide. We now feel completely lost and isolated if we ever left our homes without our phones stapled to our hips, this since we’ve become so introverted and reliant on a piece of technology.
If and once we ever do become aware, we’re then afraid of what we’ll discover, what stands in our immediate environment, that there’s really a life in the present moment.
Spending A Day Without Your Device
One thing you’ll immediately notice is how our environment keeps us safe. You’ll pay more attention to how the world protects us from danger.
When you’re crossing the street, and have you head down and buried and texing away, you won’t notice the bus that’s speeding towards you, knowing that it will most likely stop.
Once you do begin noticing what’s around you, you’ll then get back to begin participating in this thing we call life, in real time, as it happens.
Once we begin noticing the world around us, new and unexpected experiences can often occur. We’ll meet new people, see something you’ve never seen for the first time, becoming more curious learning what’s around us.
That Is The World Around Us
Becoming aware of our surroundings and knowing what our relationship is with the world, we remind ourselves of our inherent independence, and where we fit in when it comes to this universe.
We begin to notice others whom we all inhabit this planet with, and who we may choose to share a smile with, while having a real conversation or sharing a joke or a frustration.
We’ll notice those who may be less fortunate, which reminds us of what we’re blessed with. We’ll begin to see the magnificence of buildings, statues, and the monuments which were built before us.
We look up in the sky and realize how insignificant we are as a tiny dot in an immense undiscovered universe. We observe the plants and the trees which creates oxygen allowing us to breathe.
We see the vendors where the food from around the world have harvested for us. We begin see the significance of humans when it comes to other life forms at the dog park.
Once we lose this sense of our interdependence, we’ll then forget that we still need each other to sustain our planet to survive. So it’s not true that all we need is our smartphones for us to survive.
What we need to do is remember to always on occasion look up from our screens, not because you won’t get hit by a car, but because of what real life may potentially offer.
We need to remind ourselves that we’re part of a larger matrix of life that we all need to depend on.
We’ve become a nation of neurotics. We don’t care or notice others any longer. We’re just concerned about ourselves and what our smartphones tell us to do. Happy belated Earth Day.