As a corollary to my previous post, this will talk more about our constant reliance on smartphones which was neglected before. I feel that was important because this is a very multifaceted conversation involving our mobile devices.
It’s scary that we live in a time period where we feel naked without our phones. I know I do and I’m certainly not alone. Having your phone with you at all times isn’t a thought so much as a habit or unprovoked part of human nature. So it only makes sense that being disconnected when in abroad or in the elements (camping, exploring caves, whatever floats your boat) is a refreshing burst of energy. It also gives false hope that you could spend the rest of your life this way. Sadly we drift back into our old habits once we return to our robust modern society.
Often I think about the many experiences and memories I have from growing up that I didn’t feel the need to document. Birthdays, Red Sox games, family vacations. Save for the vacations, which my mom so kindly documented (sans selfie stick) the rest went undocumented. No photographic evidence that I did most if not all things when I was younger. But the memories remain just as strong as anything on my Facebook profile. This part of my life is already over. I’m nowhere near as bad as most, but when I’m somewhere scenic or doing something particularly unique I take a picture. And you better believe I upload to all of the necessary social media platforms.
For what, though? People don’t sit around and think “Wow, his life must be so awesome!” even if it does look awesome on the exterior. They continue to scroll, immediately forgetting whatever it was that you were doing. For me, I just want to be able to look at things I’ve done with friends and places I’ve gone. I really don’t think I post for anyone else; social media is just a good library for me of aforementioned cool stuff. And I actually will look back on memorable experiences I’ve had on a rainy day, whether it be a fun party or trip.
That’s beside the point. The point is I am disappointed that when I have kids, whenever my wife (assuming I get married and reproduce) go anywhere that isn’t a doctor’s office, we’ll be uploading to social media. Any vacation won’t be an excuse to unplug. Our phones will be ready to capture any and all scenery we can which I guess isn’t so bad. It’d just be nice to not have to deal with the compulsion to create a snapshot of every new environment you enter when somewhere tropical. A first world problem our parents certainly can’t relate to.
Our phones are amazing, let’s not lose sight of that. They’re computers; taking pictures, storing music, paying bills, checking on investments and doing virtually anything else you could ever want to. It’s funny though, I’ve maxed out storage on my iPhone and while I procrastinate to get a new one I’ve found myself constantly deleting apps so that it remains functional.
All social media apps have now been deleted from my phone. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, all the good stuff. Gone. I was able to get Snapchat back after a few weeks, but I didn’t miss it at all. Which brings me back to a conversation I had with some bros over beers and football a few weeks back. To quote a friend “You don’t miss it, it’s all just noise.” This friend was being torn apart for going “off the grid” simply meaning he deleted his Facebook profile.
We become accustomed to certain things just being in our life. We’re creatures of habit, which is why change is so difficult for the vast majority. We get used to certain people and ways to get somewhere, buy from the same brands, and of course, apps/social media. That’s all breakups are really, unless you really loved the person, (can’t confirm love is real, will update) a disruption of routine. How will I go on I spend all of my time with her? Just like social media, you will find a new and probably better way to spend your time.
Which goes back to the phones. Whether it be taking pictures, social media, texting or screwing around on apps, the less you do of it the more time you have to be out making new experiences in the world. Scary I know. But like the viral video where the guy never meets his wife because he never picked his head up from his phone, you never know what you could be missing out on. I heard there’s some pretty cool stuff out there. And when you get back, you’re phone will still be there.