Connected to disconnection

person with smartphone and tablet

I was at a restaurant this morning sitting on a deck overlooking a beautiful view of snowcapped mountains on a sunny summer day.

My wife went to go wash her hands which left me with a few minutes to sit alone at my table. I started to reach for my phone, it’s a bad habit I have. Whenever I am alone for a minute, I grab my phone. I stopped myself this time because I am attempting to unplug a bit during this holiday week and I had an amazing view that was there for me to take in.

I glanced around the restaurant and noticed that at every single table at least one person was looking at their phone. To my left was a couple who were both looking at their phones. In front of me was a family, mom and dad were each looking at their phones, kids were coloring with crayons on their placemats, to my right was a mother and teenage daughter, daughter was looking at her phone laughing, another family in a different direction I saw mom and dad both looking at phones, one more family, mom secretly looking at phone under the table while sort of having a conversation with the rest of her family. And, every other table had a similar scenario. Nobody was looking at the view they were paying for except to maybe take a photo of it to share on social media.

I am not judging because this is me on many occasions. I am simply noticing and wondering what being so connected to our devices is doing to our hearts and souls. My phone might as well be glued to my hand.  

Recent studies say the average person spends over 4 hours a day on their phone or checks it at least 80 times a day. I just looked at my time for the last week and it ranged from 4 – 6 hours. Now, I do social media professionally as part of my job so that accounts for some of the time but certainly not for all of it. Another large chunk of my phone time is listening to talks on YouTube and books on Audible but Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are still in my top 5 apps used. If the average person checks their phone 80 times a day, I imagine I check mine 80 times an hour, okay, maybe that is an exaggeration but maybe it is not. I haven’t figured out how to check how many times I tap on my phone each day.

I just discovered my iPhone has a setting to set time limits for apps. You can also schedule downtime which means setting a schedule for time away from the screen where only apps that you choose to allow and phone calls with be available. I might test these out.

How much time do you spend on your phone each day?

Do you think all this connection is making us more disconnected?

Remember to look up from the screen. Look at the view. Look in to the eyes of your partner. Look at your child. Look at your friend. Smile at strangers.

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