Maybe you're sitting in class and you're bored, so you check your phone. You're stuck in traffic so you check it again. You get a text that just can't wait while you're talking to a friend. You scroll through twitter while you're eating supper. You're watching tv but you get bored so you're on it again. You go to bed but half an hour later, you're still up browsing the internet. Sound familiar?
Being a part of a military family, I've become extra attached to my phone in the last few months. I rarely let the charge get below 30 percent before plugging it in, it's always on loud unless it absolutely can't be, and I'm checking it every chance I get. With a loved one separated by distance, it's hard not to dwell on them contacting you. Since you're always checking your phone, you figure you might as well check social media right? Maybe play a game for just a few minutes. Soon you've spent an hour messing around when all you were doing was looking for a text or missed call!
Often times, I find myself out for supper with a group of friends and we all absentmindedly check our phones the whole time. I never used to notice this until my husband went to BCT this past Fall. He was gone so I had no one to "talk to" which meant that although I checked my phone constantly, I wasn't actively using it. I started to realize just how often we interrupt conversation by looking at our phones. It's really distracting! Most of the time, I don't think someone even realizes how much looking at your phone causes the conversation to stop. Not only is it hard to remember what you were saying when it happens but it shows the people around you that you don't respect them enough to give your full attention.
I'm so guilty of all of this and so is just about everyone I know these days. We are constantly checking social media without thinking twice about it! We spend time together but far too often, it's distracted time. After spending months without him, I've come to really stop and appreciate these few minutes at night that I get to spend with him! I'm going to take some time every night with my husband to be unplugged from the outside world. When I'm with friends, I'm going to make it known that I want to spend our time catching up without our phones. I urge you to do the same!
Technology is a beautiful thing that has connected me with so many friends from other states but it has also distracted me from those near by. It's about balance just like everything else in life. Staying connected with those near and far. Five minutes spent just truly being with my loved ones is never five minutes wasted.