Today I sent the following:
83 Text Messages
13 Phone Calls
2 Facebook Messages
Rarely a moment goes by when we are not actively utilizing technology in some way, shape, or form. Now, the above showcases a pretty normal day for me. CNN has stated that individuals send, on average, 60 text messages per day (guess today was a heavy day for me!). My use of technology rarely attracts my attention. It is typically just as basic and necessary to my life as breathing or blinking! But this last Friday I took the long car ride to Lake Lure, NC for my best friend’s wedding. The drive there took about 7 hours and as we approached the 6-hour mark my cell service started to shrink. My iPhone map turned to a grid and I realized, without my phone, I couldn’t actually reach my destination (I quickly thought on my feet and took a screen shot of the directions in list form).
I spent almost 4 days with zero access to the internet- no text messages, no instagraming, no facebooking, no tweeting, no emailing, no calling. When is the last time you spent 4 full days without checking your email, updating your status, or sending a snapchat? When was the last time you spent 4 full hours without checking your phone? 4 full minutes? My waking hours are rarely spent without my phone in my hand. But after almost four days of essentially using my phone as an old fashion digital camera, I was very conscious each time I felt it buzz. Now it is the end of the day and I am thinking about those 83 text messages and those 56 emails. Not all of them were necessary. Not all of them were intentional or thought out. It is so easy to quickly press send. I can recall three specific times I sent a text or an email in the presence of someone else- which means I wasn’t fully part of our conversation. But how often do we put 100% of our moment into the email we are sending or the conversation we are having?
Having two back-to-back days where technology played a very different role has called attention to the energy we put into unnecessary moments. As I step into tomorrow I am going to limit the moments I spend on technology and be truly intentional about the moments I exist in. Living in the moment, and being mindful about being present is necessary to live, work, and lead in alignment with who I want to be.
So I challenge you- when you step into a conversation today, put your phone down and don’t pick it up again until that person has walked away. Think about how necessary that email is and if there is something more productive you could be investing your time and energy to.