Simon Says: Don't Live Through Your Phone
Do you know you're going to die one day? I remind myself of this every morning. Not for a depressed, self loathing, teenage angst kinda way. It's to push myself to get things done while I can.
My new years resolution was to stop using my phone while walking. My main two reasons for this are -
1) I hate the inconsiderate people (I previously included myself in this group) who slow down or even stop walking while on their phone in front of me. Nothing is that important you have to be staring at your phone that intensely, if it was, you wouldn't have forgotten about it or left it to last minute.
You might say “but I needed to check Google maps for directions”, but you could have moved to one side and not walked into oncoming people, or slowed down the people behind.
2) I realised how much of my life I was wasting.
Think of this, every episode of FRIENDS has an intro that takes about 40 seconds off your life. There are 236 episodes of friends. So you've probably spent 6 and a half days of your life so far watching the same 40 second clip that's arguably not even part of the show.
Think of what you could achieve if you got that time back. It could be as simple as a 20 minute phone call to your nan to ask how she is, or a short game of chess taxing your mind in a way TV and social media sites cannot.
But you cannot get time back. It's the one thing we all get an equal shot at. We each have this minute to do with how we please; do you really want to spend it looking into a screen at a spinning pinwheel?
We're 4 days into 2013 (at the time of writing) & so far so good - we can look past the fact I began my resolution 8 days before the turn of the calendar as I didn't see why this should wait. It's very easy to get caught up in social media and forget about the offline world, or even merge the two. We all love the internet, I can't imagine where we'd be without it. But time off is good to.
My 2nd new years resolution is to only watch every TV show once. That doesn't mean I am chasing shows. It means I sit down, with a glass of something, without my phone in hand and enjoy the show... If I feel the need to live tweet something I will. But otherwise I'll enjoy the opening sequence for what it is and then decide with the people in the same room as me which jumped up little squirt Sir Alan should fire.
For me the worst moment of my day comes when I am waiting so long for something to load on my phone the screen locks and I can see my face staring into the black void I’ve created and reality hits me. I am using this device to avoid the real world. And I am potentially missing some great opportunities that are right in front of me.
So why don't you join me & try to put down the phone more. No one ever sat on their deathbed wishing they'd sent a final tweet or downloaded a photo of a sarcastic cat. Try living in the moment this year, rather than 10-15 seconds behind it while the page refreshes. So to misquote a legend –
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around every once in a while you might miss an opportunity to Instagram something great.
— The Simon Caine (@thismademecool) September 7, 2012
Photo (cc) Robert Couse-Baker