Look at us.
Our heads down as we cross the street, casually glancing at crosswalk signals, nearly bumping into each other - or sometimes smacking right into a stranger because we are scrolling through our Instagram feed, or updating our Facebook status about how traffic accidents are out of control lately, or texting our BFF about our current mental state, or maybe we were crafting an email to our colleague In preparation for a meeting. Productive, right? Making good use of time, right?
I imagine extraterrestrials looking down on us perplexed and wondering what happened over the course of a decade to humans as their necks are bent in such a way that they are lacking awareness, straining their muscles, tensing their shoulders, furrowing their brow, losing balance, and running into things...
What does this incessant scrolling, skimming, clicking, swiping, texting ... Do to our psyche?
There is not one part of me that believes the addiction to our 'devices' is enriching our soul, mind, or spirit.
Do you see this? Glance up from your phone. Put it in your pocket. Or purse. Or wherever the fuck. But just look around and watch. See that guy over there with his earbuds in staring down at his phone oblivious to the bus that is cutting the corner within arms reach of the sidewalk where he standing? Or the girl about to trip on an uneven sidewalk completely engulfed in her virtual world? Or that business dude sitting on a bench - one ear bud in and one out - flipping between work email, ESPN, a group text with his Fantasy Football team, and his girlfriend about what to have for dinner. Or, how about that older woman driving and asking Siri how to get to her daughters office for their lunch date.
We are constantly prodding where maybe we would be better off not knowing. And no, I am not one of those - 'on the other side' preaching that technology is the devil. I'm not sure there is a devil but I'd say gluten is the devil before I would say technology is the devil. The ole' cliché: "There is a time for everything." (Ecclesiastes 3:1). And perhaps, when we are walking down the street, on a hiking trail, driving to work, out with friends, lounging with loved ones... perhaps those are not the occasions where we look down.. perhaps, those are the occasions where we aught to be looking up with our shoulders rolled back - facing life head-on.
By the way, I am writing this first-person because while I have been more of an observer as of late - I have been just as involved... engrossed in my technology as the next person.
As a matter of fact, I have recently injured my neck. Seemingly random. I woke up one morning and within an hour after waking, I bent over to move my purse and when I went to stand up I could not move my neck up, down, left, or right. My upper back was in severe pain, and the base of neck extremely sensitive - to the point of tears and nausea. I have since nursed it back to health through chiropractic, massage therapy, yoga, arnica, switching to a standing desk at work.... and I am now one of those people that holds their phone straight out in front of them so that I am not looking down (or at least I try to). All the more reason to keep it in my pocket. I know when it's my time, it's my time, but if I can avoid it, I'd like to do what I can to not get hit by a bus.