Bottom line: It is time to connect. I am impressed by this amazing new advertisement by Nike. It cleverly illustrates an uncomfortable truth we all know but are hesitant to admit. Our ceaseless connection to our phones, which for many of us is a connection to nearly everything, has become such standard behavior that we don’t even notice the minutes, hours, days and years we lose as we mindlessly scroll them away. We pull them out at the slightest pause and begin a comforting swipe routine that fills our brain with news, weather, humor, (somewhat-of-a…) human connection, and so much less. I do it. You do it. We all do it. But, in this new year, it is time to take a stance – I am focusing on it as my top new year resolution. It is time to put the phones down to connect more.
Here’s a fun experiment (after you read this): turn off your phone or put it down and look around. This is your world. How can you influence it? Smile at someone. Talk to the person near you. Pay for someone’s Starbucks. Sit quietly with your thoughts. The world can become a slightly better place by having you focus on it more. That’s more powerful than 99 percent of all tweets or Facebook posts from people you haven’t actually talked to in months or years.
I’m interested to see what 2017 is like for us as we work to disconnect more often. Yes, I’ll read the news. Yes, I’ll engage in social media. But after work? On Sundays? Less phone and more time with the family, with our friends, with our colleagues. My kids are way more interesting to me than somebody else’s children on Facebook. I’m sure you agree that your kids are way more interesting than mine. Focus on them!
Will you join me in this resolution?
Let’s make every weekend and weeknight in 2017 as phone-free as possible. Time and days of pure reality, no filters. More hours of our own lives that we don’t have to share with the world. Hours of our own. Countless smiles to smile, memories to make and awkward silences to enjoy together. Dust off that camera. It’s terrible at Snapchat but really good at making people say “cheese.” If a picture isn’t posted to Instagram, does it exist? Open up your old family album and see. Let’s disconnect to connect this year.
2017 can be ours to take back, but we’ve got to do it together, alone.