Busy. Hurry. iPhone.
These words define us. Well, maybe a good portion of us. I know it hits close to home for me!
I was stepping outside on my lunch break when I noticed a line of people exiting from the restaurant on the main level of the building. There were five people, all walking in a row with their collective faces staring into their phones. It was more amusing than anything, because they looked like a group of ducks waddling towards a lake. But you’d think being immersed in our phones so often they would want to take a quick break as they walked from the downstairs cafe to the elevator. It would only be a few feet away, a few seconds really. Isn’t it possible for us to unglue and be present in the world around us?
I wonder if our (I am included) obsession with having a Smartphone is having a detrimental impact on being present where we are and who we are with. I wonder if acknowledging whoever is on the other end of the call, text, email or message is better than noticing the person walking next to you. I think physical presence needs to be reclaimed, rejecting the chain of the small screen as we walk a few steps amidst our neighbors.
The mobile phone is an incredible tool, don’t get me wrong. People in Africa can transfer money to each via texts and a lost person can find the nearest highway. Those are great things! Yet, I think we lose a little bit of ourselves if we do not relate with the person in front of us. When we rush to acknowledge the phone call of someone else and ignore the person we are having coffee with, that, my friends, needs to stop.
God made us physical beings. He made us and then said it was good. Our physical-ness means that we need others. We need people in front of us. A phone call can be great, but wouldn’t you agree that the person-to-person communication in the skin is so much better. So much more satisfying. We are made for community. So I say we have communion by being with others in real life and unplug for moments of connection with real people.