To be fully present in the moment is getting harder and harder these days. We have a lot of things pulling us out of the now constantly, our phones, tablets and computers. They make escaping reality seem easy and we end up forgetting where we are and what is happening around us. As if we would rather communicate through texts than sit down and have a proper conversation.
As a millennial, I grew up with the excitement of the internet era. Nowadays it has all become convenient, we wake up, check our phone and go out with our earphones plugged in. Every empty moment is filled with scrolling down endless pages on our social media account, staying connected with everyone you know.
But are we still? It seems that these mobile devices actually make us less interested in what is happening around us. That is why I decided to take the test and see what it is like to go without social media for a week. A digital detox.
I did this while staying with a host family in England, where I have been spending my last three summers. There is nothing more in this world that I love than experiencing a different culture from a local perspective.
What I enjoyed the most about leaving my phone, is that I started having conversations with complete strangers simply while waiting for coffee or queuing in a shop. We have the ability to connect with people all over the world and learn something about one another. Share your thoughts and ideas, listening and end up expanding your own knowledge.
But most of all, it is the dependence on these devices which scares me the most. The idea of leaving your phone for a day, appears to be impossible for a lot of people, as it is with any other kind of addiction. That is what I feel we need to become more aware of. Reminding yourself that a phone is still a phone and not a part of you, which you have to be on 24/7. The pressure of feeling as if you are obliged to be reachable at all times, having to respond to every message that comes in.
Let us try to use our phone less frequently and when you are walking around, look someone in the eye, give them a smile or try to start a conversation. You’d be amazed to see how rewarding the present can be. Just make sure you are a part of it.