(and yes, I totally appreciate the irony of telling you to look up while also asking you to read this blog post)
Chances are high that you’ve seen this “Look Up” video from April of 2014. As I type this, it has over 49 million – yes MILLION – YouTube views. If you have not yet watched it, check it out now. If you have seen it, it’s worth the 5 minutes of your life again.
In October of 2014, I took the first step to being more present when I deleted the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram apps from my iPhone. A few weeks ago, I openly admitted that I’m addicted to social media. I took some heat from a few folks (on Facebook, of course!) arguing that the word “addicted” was a bit too strong. I certainly respect their opinion, but stand by my word choice.
Maybe social media is not an addiction for you. Maybe it is and you are making excuses (like many addicts do).
If you “have it under control,” awesome. I’m happy for you. You probably can stop reading this blog post now (to go check your Facebook stream. Ha! Kidding. Sort of).
However, if you don’t believe (or want to admit) you are addicted to social media, maybe it’s your smart phone you can’t get enough of. I can’t tell you how often I see scenes like the one depicted in the image above (hat tip to Alan Bourne). When was the last time you were in line and did not see the far majority of people in front of and behind you … looking down. Checking email. Texting. Surfing ESPN (guilty!). Seeing who liked their last Facebook post. Posting something on Instagram.
Again, I’ve openly admitted my addiction to social media. It’s probably more accurate to say I’m addicted to my iPhone. It’s sad. And I’m not proud of it.
But I’m working to curb my addiction. I’m trying to look down less often — and look up more frequently. I’m trying to be more present, to be more in the moment. To spend time with my family – my wife, my young children – without being glued to my device.
Not having the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram apps on my iPhone has helped tremendously in my quest to look up more. However, I still have ESPN on my iPhone. I still have email. I still have my camera. I have other “time-suck” apps. I’m not perfect (there’s no such thing), but I’m trying to get better.
My Challenge (to myself and to you)
I’ve been challenging myself lately to leave my iPhone in my pocket when I’m in line at Starbucks, when I’m at a stop light, when I have a “free” moment. I’m challenging myself to look up, to look around, to see what the world – the one in front of and around me – has to offer.
I challenge you to do the same. Look up. Be present. Live in the moment.
Are you with me?
I leave you with this awesome – yet scary – video from Prince Ea. He pretty much tells it how I see it … now.
Can’t see this video? Try watching on YouTube.