Look Up… Look OUT!

Yesterday I came out of work and noticed (not for the first time) how most of the people walking around the campus were walking and staring at their phones.  Here it was a beautiful day – nice temps, green grass, and so on.  Lots of things to enjoy but all these people were doing was staring at their electronics.

It astounds me how oblivious people can be to their surroundings.  I watched as people streamed from one building to the next, most their heads bowed as though praying.  Unfortunately, they were praying to their electronics.  One after another oblivious to who was near them, where they walked, and what they were missing.

I’m not going to claim I’m not oblivious.  I can be and often am oblivious to all that isn’t going on inside my head or even in my immediate environment.  But watching these people be zombie like (yes I went there) as they walked around campus made me want to drop something LOUD to see if they would look up, stop, or be distracted from their phones.

I’ve only had a smart phone for a year.  I know I’m over involved in it.  I read books on it, take notes on it, play games on it, look at email on it, and a variety of other tasks.  I also pay too much attention to it.  However, if I ever get as bad as the people I saw yesterday, I hope someone smacks me hard on the head.


Sitting in the recliner writing, I had my phone near me charging, a heating pad on my foot, and my netbook charging.  I was surrounded by cords.  I told my daughter that I had to be careful or I was going to get tangled in my cords and die.

Our technology runs us.  I wouldn’t give up my computer or some of the other technology I have for anything.  I enjoy being able to work on the computer and look up something in an instant instead of having to go to the library, find the information in the reference books, copy it down or read through it there. 

At the same time, technology has made us all instant people.  Everything is right at our fingertips and accessible so quickly that when we have to wait – like in the drive thru – we get impatient and it becomes a HUGE deal that we had to wait two minutes for fries…

Would you rather have it right and take longer or would you rather have it wrong and there in an instant?  I’d rather have it right. 

I sat in the recliner all day working on a story.  Periodically I had to plug in and unplug multiple devices.  It kept me occupied and busy.  I cannot imgaine having to write all of what I did out and then type it up (on the computer or on a typewriter).  Okay I can because that is what I used to do but it adds a step and time.  By having my technology, I was able to finish a story, research topics for that story, talk to my kids, and keep a heating pad on my foot.  It made the day stuck in the recliner more bearable. 

No Electronics

I just read a news article about a woman who turned off her and her children’s electronic for six months.  She felt their lives were too dependent on all of the electronic devices in their lives.  So she took away ipods, cell phones, computers, video games, television, etc.  One daughter disliked it so much she moved in with her dad for part of the time.  The mom did allow the kids to use the items away from the house but her house was a no electronics zone. 
I could give up the tv and probably the cell phone (though I don’t have a house phone), video games without a problem.  I could not give up my computer without huge issues.  I know that when I get together with one of my daughters her cell phone is like an extension to her arm.  It is always on and within reach for easy access.  This is fine most of the time but there are times that I just want her undivided attention and don’t’ get it.
The ironic thing is my other daughters have done they – hey we are eating dinner here – when the cell phone rings for me or my husband.  They seem to have the same aversion to it as I do but don’t see it in themselves when they do it. 
How long could you go without your cell phone or other electronic devices?