What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Stretch? Get a glass of water? Use the bathroom? Or wait, is it the dreaded phone grab?
Until this past week, I was a phone grabber. When I woke up, when I waited in line, when I ate my lunch, before I went to bed – there was my phone, right in my hand. Which probably sounds just like you. We all go online to keep in touch and not miss out, but all the while we lose touch with ourselves and miss out on the beauty of the physical world around us. It’s ironic really.
I am a freshman here at LSU and I’m a long way from home. Ever since I got here, I have been struggling with the sheer foreignness of change. Without any people here that know me, I felt like I didn’t know me. I didn’t know how to act or how to approach new people. I mean, who is when we’re all alone?
To drown out this feeling of loneliness, I gravitated towards my phone more than I ever have in my life. It was like a safety blanket I couldn’t shake or was too afraid to shake. I missed my friends and my family and so my phone was a comforting way to feel connected. Or so I thought.
But, instead of feeling better, I started feeling more and more detached from myself. I was moving through my day like a zombie, the same thing, day in and day out. And that monotony was terrifying. The only solution I could think of was to abandon my phone and the false sense of comfort it provided and face the clamor of my own thoughts.
When I removed my phone from my daily routine, I was confronted with so much extra time, these little moments that I’ve been neglecting to notice. And that was eye-opening. Without my phone occupying my attention, I saw the sun-drenched walls when I woke up in the morning, I could smell the coffee trickling from the Keurig at breakfast, I was allowed the privilege of befriending the protagonist from that novel I’ve been “too busy” to read. Ultimately, I got to experience things my phone could never give me. I got the time to meet myself – my aspirations, my fears, my likes, my dislikes, and so much more.
And I’m not saying you should completely abandon your phone forever, but I do implore you to take a break for a while. Really tune in with yourself and all the beauty surrounding you, especially now that it’s the most wonderful time of the year. And if you can’t take it from me, take it from Ferris Bueller, who said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”