Everywhere you turn people are looking at their phones. Walking, in restaurants, cars, bars, and living rooms. In airports, on planes, and parties. Playing games, watching videos, and used to keep children occupied from a very young age. Making the phone the center of our lives regardless of age.
Let’s take a few minutes to reflect on the following words. Placed randomly on this page. Giving thought to how different and foreign they are to our digital tools. Demonstrating words that make our phones useless.
- Joy, love, curiosity, attraction, frustration, compassion, faith, trust, fear, anticipation, ambiguity
- Responsibility, empathy, competence, skill, wisdom, nuance, perspective, belief, forgiveness
- Commitment, understanding, tolerance, professionalism, demeanor, standards, risk, reward
- Long term, short term, values, effort, grit, endurance, possibility, expansion, dreams, wishes
- Strategy, tactics, constraints, hope, God, beauty, wonder, cooperation, alignment, struggle
- Disappointment, death, loss, illness, acceptance, balance, focus, importance, priority, pain
- Goals, structure, routine, habit, addiction, dependence, roles, boundaries, obstacles, needs
- Wants, necessities, serendipity, participation, relationship, presence, engagement, honor
- Courage, hypothesis, testing, validation, discipline, necessity, confidence, self esteem
- Perseverance, tradition, correction, awareness, mistake, respect, practice, adjustment
- Humility, doubt, improvement, confusion, ego, creation, creativity, kindness, generosity, assistance, problems, solutions
Our mistake lies in believing that a phone is truly the center of our life. When clearly it is not nor meant to be. Yet we cling to our phones as if they have immeasurable value and are almost “life giving”. Mistakenly so.
The words above strung together to create a rich and deep tapestry of life and humanity that better defines us than a phone. Phones are powerless to help us think, feel and live within and around our humanity. Words that give us a chance to see the vastness of life itself with all of its beauty and pain. Giving us, upon reflection and contemplation, the hope of becoming better human beings.
As parents, how much of our time is spent developing an understanding, appreciation for all of the words listed above in our children? Ones that go far past technical knowledge and are timeless? Nurturing them to better prepared for life as they mature.
As adults, how often do we crash into these words suddenly without reflection of their true depth and value? How much do we nurture practicing any, some or many of the words on this list? What other words would you add where phones are useless? Do we take time to develop and practice any of the words in our lives as we age?
Much to think about. Much to learn. And in the end, much more important to explore and master than the time spent with any app, video or game on your phone. For we all are human. Needing help throughout our lives with our imperfections. For there are two sides to life, with the one that does not involve phones the more important one for us to focus on.