Next time you’re in a public place just take a moment and look around you. Watch. Observe. Don’t do the creepy staring, though. Rather, try to count the amount of people using their phones. Then try to count the amount of people listening to music and finally, look at how many people actually acknowledge the others around them. Everyone seems to be strangely disconnected.
If I were in that space you’d most likely see me with my phone in hand while listening to music as well. I’d be living in my own world, or at the very least have my attention elsewhere. Odds are that I wouldn’t be the only one who’s absent-minded. Odds are that I wouldn’t even be part of a minority.
Now, I’m not saying that reading the news on your phone, using chat apps or even playing games makes people less social. I’ve met some of my closest friends due to the wonders of the internet. However, I do believe that they make us miss out on the marvels of the world surrounding us.
Just the other day I was mesmerized by wallpapers consisting of photos of Scandinavian scenery and forests, until I took a moment to look up and realized my view wasn’t all that different. The snow-covered trees, dimly lit by the street lights also had a touch of magic to them and that was just the view from my very own window. What kind of views am I passing by daily without ever noticing?
I often browse Pinterest for inspiration on attire, yet every day I pass through one of the city’s busiest hubs without ever noticing what others wear. Hundreds if not thousands of looks and sources of inspiration ignored.
What if the Matrix is actually happening? How many hours do we spend getting sucked into a screen, into a life where lines between real and fake are blurry at best? Sure, we’re no sources of energy for robots, not yet at least, but at the same time, our lives seem to depend on technology an awful lot and that same technology cannot exist without us. There are parallels here.
For the coming week the challenge is simple; unplug yourself. No listening to music in public and no phone in public nor at work aside from lunch and coffee breaks. Hopefully, you can even manage to leave your phone at home when you don’t need it. Who knows, maybe you’ll decide that the world is dull and boring compared to your own bubble, but it’s worth a shot and hopefully an eye-opener.