Moment of Enlightenment #1

by kangcuzzi

TURN OFF YOUR PHONE.

(Unless you’re reading this on a phone of course. If that’s the case I suggest you finish reading this before you turn it off.)

I, myself, do not own a smartphone. Why?

In the increasingly tech-savvied society we live in today, iPhones, Blackberries, all kinds of wondrous devices are the new rage. To reflect upon the shocking extent of how much our world has come to rely on such devices: imagine what the MTR would’ve been like in 1979 (when it first opened). No one would have owned a smartphone. But today? In a carriage of approximately 20 people there would most probably be – give or take a few – 15 on their phones. All glued on to those tiny little screens, infatuated by something I have yet to understand. Something I’m actually, deep inside, terrified of.

Why the obsession with smart phones? I get it, they’re ‘amazing’, convenient and after all, smart, but why do we use them so much? Let’s be honest here – if you spend three hours a day on your phone, how many of those hours are spent doing something productive? Half, maybe one. Time to confess! Does anyone ever feel bad after spending time on their phones? I don’t know if it’s just me, but whenever I spend time – even a mere 15 minutes – doing something vaguely unproductive I feel absolutely terrible and have to spend the next 15 convincing myself otherwise and justifying my actions. If such a lifeless device goes so far as to make you feel bad, why don’t you do something else? Read a book? Finish whatever’s been on your mind? Embark on a new project? Time is like play-doh: there are so many things you can do with it. Everyone receives the same amount of play-doh, but it’s what you do with it that really matters. You can make the most brilliant play-doh castle with intricate pillars and walls or you can end up with the same clumpy lump you received in the beginning. But of course, I’m sure there are great many reasons as to why you would keep yourself on your phone – I mean, it’s not as if I haven’t been ‘leeched’ into technology. I know the feeling; I know that sometimes it may be unavoidable, you may never know it yourself. But what you must always remember is that you are in charge of this play-doh, and the next time you find yourself deliberating over that lock key, convince yourself otherwise.

Carrying on from this idea – smartphones are wonderful things if used at an acceptable rate. If people know when to turn them off, when to click those lock buttons, when to look around themselves and realize, for once, that their world is not encapsulated by the mere material good in their hands but by a vaster, greater community waiting to be discovered by eyes that are kept locked on a single screen, I really wouldn’t mind smartphones. I mean, even I tend to waste time; but I try my best to make up for it, and I think everyone should do too.

Now before I go off on an extremely clichéd tangent you have all probably heard before, let me tell you one thing that will allow you to do so much more in life:

GET OFF THAT PHONE!

Unless you have a valid reason as to WHY you’re using your device, please, PLEASE put it away in your pocket or your bag or whatever that will stop your ‘cravings’. When people use smartphones in ‘inappropriate’ situations (when they are eating/hanging out with friends, attending a debate etc) not only does it make them seem a) rude, b) uninterested but c) inaccessible and hence, not a very friendly and approachable person to talk to. Do you really want this to happen? Conversations are magic – they get you anywhere. Every conversation you have opens at least one door to one more opportunity. Conversations allow you to find out more about someone you may never have known otherwise, someone who will inadvertently, sometime in the next few weeks, months, or even years, change your life. And losing a few moments of really good, life-changing substance for another minute of scrolling your finger down a theoretically non-existant page? Blasphemous, is it not?!

Just this year I realized the power of a conversation, and thanks to that I have met so many amazing people I will surely have the best of experiences with.

In addition, always remember that people are constantly judging you. Putting this into context, if the perpetual image you put forward is the picture of one joined at the hip with a mobile device, what would people think? It’d be much more preferable – and definitely more attractive – to see someone who is actually interested in you and what you’re trying to say or do, right?

This is why I’m writing this today. I really want you all to enjoy the arbitrariness and the conversation-filled-ness of life, and to ensure that happens real soon – tomorrow even – I suggest that you, right this very moment, turn off your phone. 

Thank you for reading, hope you have a lovely day 🙂

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