Tuesday, July 8, 2014
We're Wasting Eternity on our Phones...Literally
Airports are a regular place for me to be. I spend time waiting and people watching at the airport at least once a month. In the summer that average goes up to about two or three times a month. One time while I was at the airport, I was waiting for my luggage at the carousel and I was watching a woman and her adorable little kids. The mom looked like quite the fashionable woman. Cute white jeans, pretty pink blazer, bow-tie hair bun, bronze watch, and giant heels. She had a little boy and girl running around her. I enjoyed watching them frivolously playing with each other, chasing each other and laughing. They were adorable and I couldn't help smile as I listened to their little shouts of thrill and their adorable cartoon-like laughs. Every once in a while they would run around their mom and grab her legs and pull on her shirt. But something that caught my attention about the situation was the mom's pure fascination with her iPhone. I don't know what she was doing but her eyes and thumbs were glued to her phone. I continued to watch, simply just intrigued by the scene before me. I noticed that never once in fifteen minutes did she look up to acknowledge her playing children or even watch when they would run into the busy crowd at the carousel. Whatever she was involved in with her phone had her full and undivided attention. Now I have to take a step back for a moment just to address the fact that I don't know what she was doing nor do I judge her. The point of this post is not to chastise or judge this woman. After running into her later, she seemed like a very enjoyable, loving woman. But back to my point, it was initially sad for me to watch. How divine of a moment was given up to enjoy the simple scene of her children being happy, laughing, and playing. The opportunity was sacrificed to even just be in the presence of those she loved. Maybe the situation wasn't anything precious at first glance, waiting at a luggage carousel and all, and yes, maybe she has already given so many moments of her life and attention to her children, but it still seemed like such a withdrawal from the presence of her children. The presence of human existence for that matter, and it really got me thinking. These little devices that are supposedly connecting us with more people, seem to be doing just the opposite. It seems that the more people get drawn into their electronic worlds, the more they withdraw themselves from the real one. And it got me thinking personally. How often do I withdraw from my real life in order to build up my electronic one? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, whatever it may be. How many precious moments of eternity have I plain and simply given up, wasting my time over things that in the end, do me absolutely no good? Whether those moments be precious times with those I love, or opportunities to interact with strangers that I could learn a lot from? How many opportunities to serve someone in need have I let pass me by because my eyes were glued to my phone? What if a frazzled mother holding a new baby was struggling to corral her busy children when her purse spilled all over the ground, and I couldn't offer my help because my eyes were fixed on my phone. My point is that we are here for a divine purpose. Every moment is precious and often quick to pass us by, so let us not give up those moments because our phones have us entranced into their tricky behaviors of slavery. Who knows what small and simple moments of beauty or opportunity God may put in our path? Great things come to pass by small and simple means and we must not give them up. Our phones and our social media life have their time and place, so let's make sure we are controlling ourselves and giving the appropriate time in the appropriate places for these things. It's something I know I need to work on, and if you agree, I hope you will admonish yourself to do the same. After all, "moments are the molecules that make up eternity", so let us savor and make something out of each one. Let's build our own Eternity to be something beautiful with the moments we allow ourselves to experience (and I don't think our phones will do that for us, do you?).