• The Hopefulist

Is your smart phone making you dumb?

I have a smart phone, just like you and most other people. I even have one of the latest versions of the iPhone. I will have that bad boy for many years to come though because it’s so darn expensive. But what I’ve been wondering is, do they call it a smart phone because it helps make you smart or does it, in fact, make you dumb? I’m going to say it is the latter. In all different ways.

I just got back from my Rise Business conference with Rachel and Dave Hollis. As Rachel entered the stage on day one, she laughed at all of us because she said every one of you is standing there with a phone in front of your face recording me. She urged us to put our phones away and be present. Do you remember that picture of the old woman that went viral while seeing the Pope go by? Every single person in that picture was holding a phone in front of their face except for one little old lady who had the biggest smile on her face as she took in the Pope riding past and waving at her.

I’m not going to say that I didn’t record any parts of the conference because I did. But I’m trying to be more conscious of how much I put into my picture and video taking. It really does take away from the experience, any experience. It is so much better to look at experiences through your EYES, not through the screen on your phone. First of all, have you noticed how things look smaller and further away on the screen of your phone. Second, you aren’t giving the experience it’s proper due. You are fiddling with your phone and trying to keep it straight, the subject in the shot at all times and making sure you don’t drop it. I’ve done this during concerts, at speaking events and even taking sunrise and sunset pictures. I had gotten to the point where once I got my picture of the sun rising over the water of the East Coast, I turned around and went home. I didn’t need to see it in real life because I had the picture! WHAT have I done? I stopped enjoying things in the moment so I could relive them over and over again in the future. But is it really the same? Of course it isn’t.

What I try to do now is enjoy the present moment, take a picture or two, then back to the present moment. Drink it in. Be mindful. Savor the moments. This is what life is about! I was a little sad that I didn’t get Rachel’s amazing wrap at the end of the conference but guess what? There are videos posted of it everywhere. One of them is the last 40 freaking minutes. It’s the same thing with concerts or any public event you are attending. Go on YouTube. I assure you someone will have posted it within minutes.

Smart phones are killing our memory as well. We don’t ever have to try to figure out something we don’t remember anymore. We just have to google it. Our brain never has to have any retention anymore. If a muscle isn’t used, it gets lazy. That includes our brain. Remember when you heard a song on the radio and you couldn’t remember the name of it or the band. And of course, the DJ would never give you the info. You would have to search it out and try to find it yourself. I once spent all day in room with a boombox waiting to hear “You Oughtta Know” by Alanis Morrisette waiting to hear again so I could record and hopefully get the info about the artist and song. I sat in my room ALL DAY for just that purpose. That is how much it meant to me to get that song. So, are you saying to yourself…yeah, now you don’t have to waste a whole day doing something stupid like that. I agree to an extent. I will always remember that day though and the elation I felt when they finally played the damn song again! It’s so easy to look things up now. In fact, we don’t even have to look it up. I just pull out my phone and Shazam it! The world is trying to make things so easy for us now we soon won’t know how to do anything ourselves. For the last couple of weeks my tv has been telling me to just say ABC into my remote instead of that extra second and a half it takes to actually push the 3 buttons I need to change the channel. Heck, when I was growing up, I was the remote control. I was told to get up off my butt and change the channel with the knob. Now, it’s too much effort to push a couple of buttons? Craziness!

Smart phones are great. They definitely serve a purpose. I just urge you to make sure you run your phone and don’t let it run you. Don’t be the person who constantly has their face in their phone. Because, guess what? You are missing out on your life! It would make me so sad to think you are so busy watching everyone else’s life that you are missing your own. Because that is exactly what is happening. Use the phone for when you need to know something. Use it to make your life a little easier but don’t let it make you so lazy you no longer know how to push three buttons on the television remote control.

It’s Monday, my favorite day after Friday, Saturday and Sunday! A brand-new week full of opportunities and possibilities. Now go make this your best day yet!

Please check out my website. It’s your one stop spot for everything “The Hopefulist”. Hopefulist.com.

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