I know this may upset some folks, but then, this is not a popularity contest. Today, I gave up my iPhone. There, I said it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the iPhone and it brought me much joy throughout the years.
Not to try to oversell the iPhone, it is a marvel of technology. It can virtually do everything that you can think of. But gradually, I started getting the feeling that with all of the incredible things I could do with it, something was missing. Something important.
It began with my observation of others around me, at a restaurant, at a bank, at a cafe. A person would sit down at a table with a cup of coffee. They would take the first sip. Then, as though they didn’t have control over their actions, they would reach into their pocket and produce their smartphone…
After that point, their life was no longer around them, but confined to their hand. The eyes remained focused on the little screen for the duration of the stay. They were no longer present at the cafe, but bound by the cyberspace, permanently connected.
I understand the logistics of mobile business, and can see the importance of having access to your work on the go. But many of these people were kids, teenagers and retirees. What I’ve noticed is that they were giving up the real world in exchange for the never ending flow of information and communication.
Communication is essential to us as humans. But constant communication just for the sake of availability? I think not. I think not as long as we have our legs to wonder the earth and our eyes to see the world as it was meant to be seen.
I looked at myself and found that I was doing the exact same thing. Slowly substituting the reality around me with the artificial connectedness and entertainment. Believing in the power of technology, while ignoring the power of now! This is not how to live in the moment. When was the last time you simply sat at a cafe, looked around and enjoyed your cup of coffee?
When was the last time you walked out to a grassy field and let yourself dissolve into nature around you? We did, when we were too young to have a phone or before the cellphone was invented. And then, we gave it up.
Today I gave up my iPhone. I gave it up, so that I can have the opportunity to connect a little bit more with the present moment. So that I can limit the communication overload to the time of my choosing. So that I can take back my life from the never ending technological race.
Yes, I will miss it. For a while at least, and then I will forget about it. In my pocket I now have a phone that does two things. It makes and receives calls, and gets turned off when I am in the mood for a taste of something real.
Live well. Vlad