The Cell Phone Generation

This was my first Christmas in the city.  My family came up to join me.  Saturday we decided to go see the Statue of Liberty.  We and the huddled masses boarded the ferry.  As we pulled out of the dock everyone jumped up turned around and started furiously snapping photos and videos.  My stomach sank and I immediately thought "oh no what's happening in the city?"  I turned around, but didn't see anything unusual.  I scanned the city and the crowd a few times before realizing that nothing horrible was happening people just wanted a shot of the skyline.  Chuckling I turned back around and fix my eyes on where we are going.  

We soon arrived at the the Statue Liberty (which I maintain, contrary to the opinion of every other person I have spoken to, to be small in real life).  We and the huddled masses departed the ferry and began walking around the island.  As we walked I began to notice that no one and I mean no one was looking at Lady Liberty, at least not directly.  They were either viewing her through their cell phone screen or furiously attempting to fit her and themselves into a selfie.  It was at that moment I realized no one was being present in the moment.  Everyone was so focused on capturing the moment that they were missing the moment.  The art of being present, of being intentional is being lost.       

We live in a time where we have the ability to record everything and courtesy of the internet the ability to access information about almost everything, but are we aware of what is going on around us?  Are we aware of the feelings and behavior of those around us? When things get uncomfortable do we press in or use our phones to escape? When we have hard thoughts do we wrestle with them or do we use media to distract ourselves?

I know for me my first response is typically to escape or distract.  I need to be more intentional about the way I interact with technology.  Now I feel the need to add that I am not anti the internet or technology.  In fact I used an app to help me become more intentional about my use of technology.  It was eye opening.  The amount of time I spent using my phone was less then I expected, but the number of times I picked up my phone a day just to look shocked me!  What a waste of time!  It has helped me to be more mindful about when and how I use my phone.  

This year I want to be someone who is aware... someone who presses in... someone who wrestles.

Who do you want to be?

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