Dana Corbit here. This morning while I was driving our second daughter back to her college campus, I passed a young woman pushing a stroller. Only instead of interacting with the happy and alert baby in a stroller, she was texting...all the way down the road. I told my daughter that this was a commentary on our times, but my clever child quipped that the real commentary on our times was that I would tweet about it later. Close. I'm blogging about it instead. I'll just tweet the link for it later.
Now I don't want to be too critical of this young mother, who might have had something really important to share just then. I also might have been hypersensitive today as I was sending my baby away while hers was right there waiting to laugh with her. Still, this woman unknowingly reminded me of how much of our lives are really spent looking down at our Smartphones and tablets and today's unbeatable level of Candy Crush. I personally don't have a few of those things, but I'm pretty addicted to Facebook updates and Grumpy Cat videos, so I'm including myself here.
Our need to stay connected to our friends, family and strangers that we only really know from their photos, Scripture memes and 140 characters of brilliance sometimes prevents us from seeing sunsets, noticing people who stop ahead of us at the mall and having full eye-contact conversations with the people right there with us. The first time I noticed this phenomenon was a few years ago at a high school football game. I watched a whole row of students sitting together and texting people who were somewhere else. Now that sight no longer surprises me or anyone else.
I'm not even talking about texting and driving right now, which is deadly and should simply be off the table as an option. I'm talking about texting or social-media scrolling while walking down the street, hanging out with friends, eating at restaurants, attending church services and even participating in work meetings. We're always somewhere else instead of spending time in the now...the only moment God has promised us.
During our oldest daughter's college orientation, the leader told students to leave their phones in their rooms and "be in the moment." That's a good reminder for all of us. There are so many beautiful sights to see in this world, great conversations to be shared - out loud - and even hilarious jokes to be told in real time instead of through a YouTube video.We all need to remember to take time to talk to each other - sans phone - and enjoy these moments that we'll never get back. And while we're lifting our eyes from those little screens, we need to remember to keep looking up.