Day 142 of #LiveWell2017
I’m slowly working my way through Nancy Colier’s book, The Power of Off. The first part of the book emphasizes our relationship with (i.e. our addiction to) technology and the second part lays out how that affects our relationships with others. So many of her examples could well be lifted right from the pages of my own life.
I always thought technology would make life easier, simpler, and while it does in some ways, it complicates life in many other ways. How we interact with our technology is changing how we interact with each other, and not always in a good way.
Have you ever noticed (or experienced) someone with a cell phone at the dinner table or out at a bar with friends? I’m as guilty as anyone. I’ve pulled my phone out to check a notification or to look something up right there on the spot, sometimes even to text someone far away.
When I do that, it detracts my attention from the person or people I am supposed to be spending time with, even if just for a second. It interrupts the flow of conversation. It gives the technology power over me and my relationships. It diminishes the experience of being with that other person and, in effect, sends a message that they are less important.
Attention is how we show each other we matter. The gaze of someone who is truly with us, not distracted, not elsewhere, but here, is like a gift of the most divine substance. There is a flow of energy…that occurs when two people are wholly with each other, undistracted, fully present.
Being wholly with each other.
Because you matter.
Because we matter.
It’s time to lose the phone. Lock it up. Keep it turned off and out of sight, whether at dinner or just sitting in the living room talking to each other. When I’m with others, they deserve my undistracted attention. It’s time to practice this consistently.
What do you think? Has your cell phone taken over your life? your relationships? Can you turn it off and give your friend your full attention?