We all have it, but it eludes us. A currency that cannot be purchased. TIME.
Your hand cascades into the corner of your pants pocket, grasping the edge of your phone. It’s in your pocket, and you can certainly feel it. But you need to have the certainty that it’s there. If you could eat it, it would be grilled cheese and soup- your comfort food. If you’re in an elevator or a waiting room, it’s without question that you’ll have the phone with you, and that it’ll be begging for your attention. Everytime you pull it out, an endorphin spike flushes from your pituitary gland and certral nervous system. There’s an urgency to look. You surrender to it, because you’re a slave to its powers.
A dinner with you and your closest. Everyone at the table pulls out their digital social anxiety blankets from their pockets and handbags. Your ideas don’t interest me, as my ideas merit little to you. We want to perform in a moment, capture a moment, post our moment and share an opinon of a moment. But rarely, do we feel like extensive comparison amongst our peer groups. We want to forcefeed our inventory of interests to anyone- our metaphorical Pinterest fois gras to the masses- whether they’ll willingly listen, or not.
A symphony of phones, playing a chorus of silence amongst a peer group that ignores one another in concert. We want everything now. We want quantity and convenience, at the cost of quality.
Let me tell you about a nightmare. It’s not my nightmare, but it is a societal one. You walk into a room. You see tapestries of pastels and beige. You take a seat. This seat, made of steel and wood, encased in a thin layer of foam and vinyl, houses your fat ass for the forseeable future. You look around. Amidst a sea of sniffles, throat clearing and whispers, you make eye contact with someone. Their gaze meets yours, and you pull away. You have a phone. They do as well. You both take solace in the prevention of a meaningless conversation- or perhaps destined encounter. A celebrity breakup, a game of Bubble Mania, or even re-reading old text messages to determine their literary substantiation.
You make the time to spend it with people, as they do with you. So why are you so distant?
If there’s someone else you would rather be conversing with, or somewhere else you’d rather be, then why are you not with those people, or doing something else? Be where you are.
Enjoy what’s in front of you.
Be memorable. Have a presence. Your phone can swallow you, taking away moments happening all around you, while your brain atrophies and your legs rest on chairs sure to add to an unforseen epidemic of Attention Deficit Gluten Anxiety Disorder.
Put your phone away. Make eye contact with someone. Surrender their hostilities with a smile. Converse. Everyone has a story, sure to be of more value to you than having to view someone else’s captured moment later on. This recording, starring Past Tense You, staring at your phone, while Present Day You is looking through a screen (perhaps the very same one), watching the recording of a momentous occasion, captured by someone who lived it (a real life version of Inception, minus the action sequences and star-studded cast). End scene. Roll credits.
Life’s a great game. You should take part in it. Your phone isn’t going anywhere. But the moments will.
By Christopher Barnard Staff Writer The Mark Consulting & Marketing
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