Some more apologies (#250-257), and Challenge #258-#261

Warning: Long post, a moderate amount of complaining, and a lot of made up words. Precede if you’re brave!

I hate sitting at a table with my soccer team, while every single one of them has her phone out—texting or facebooking or playing a game. Instead of enjoying the moment they are in with the people they are with, it is as though they are trying to find somewhere better to be (albeit, cyberspacially). They are always looking for someone more interesting to talk to, updating their statuses to some inane detail that no one cares about. Honestly, I am sick of it. I don’t want to sit at a table full of people that act as though they wish they were somewhere else (even though if they were with whoever they are texting, I’ve no doubt that they would find someone else to text or facebook).

But contrary to how they act, I know that the majority of the people I’m talking about don’t actually wish that they were somewhere else. Maybe it is an issue of restlessness, of constantly needing new stimulus. Maybe they just really miss whoever it is they are texting (I doubt it). Maybe it is that they want to feel important, they enjoy knowing that someone is spending time on them. Maybe they don’t want to be the only person at the table without a phone in hand. Maybe they don’t remember how to interact face-to-face, so they avoid the situation they are in, and fill the interactual void by being on their phones. I have no idea, but I must admit—I do it too.

Lately I have felt far too dependant on technologized people. It is one thing to Skype a friend in Scotland, or talk to my mom on the phone. But here is where I draw the line: I was hanging out with a bunch of friends last Saturday, and a boy I am kind of interested in was there. Now, I’m far from what many might call ‘forward’. In fact, I’m quite shy. And instead of talking to said boy and enjoying his company, I found myself kind of avoiding him all night. Then, once I left the party, can you guess what I did? I texted him. Ooooooook. Who does that? Someone that finds comfort in the space between phones, between computers. Or maybe a middle-schooler.

Anyways, a week or so ago, I deleted my Facebook. Or deactivated it, rather. (This was before that little anecdote occurred). To be honest, I deleted it for completely different reasons than I outlined above. I was simply spending too much time on it. There were books I wanted to read, daily blog posts that I was (maybe) posting weekly, scholarship applications I wanted to fill out, people I wanted to hang out with, homework to be done, pictures to paint—the list of things I could do with my evenings in endless. But the list of what I was doing with my evenings was short: soccer, Facebook, Hulu. So I said adios, and I am glad. I don’t plan on having it gone forever, but at least for awhile.

Anyways, here is the challenge for the weekend:
Challenge for Day #258-Day #261, September 16-September 19: Use technology to communicate as little as possible. When you need to talk to someone, use this chatting hierarchy: 1.In person 2. On the phone 3.Messenger pigeons 4.Singing telegram 5.Texting. Don’t have your phone out at dinner—in fact, turn it off as often as possible. Don’t maintain a cyber-conversation while in the middle of a real conversation. Be respectful of other people, and try to get your kids or bratty teenage daughter to do the same! Spend some time alone, without constant communication. And most of all, enjoy the people that are around you and the moment you are in! I personally, am traveling to South Dakota tomorrow for soccer, and I’ve decided to leave my phone at home all weekend. Four days with no cell phone and no Facebook will certainly be good for me! 

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About onechallengeaday

I am searching for nothing and absorbing everything. My eyes are open--I am wondering, I am wandering. I was made to run, to think, and to write. And that is what I plan to do.
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7 Responses to Some more apologies (#250-257), and Challenge #258-#261

  1. Stef says:

    I find that a lot of people text because they are afraid to be alone; afraid to be with their own thoughts; afraid to be ‘bored’; afraid to be with themselves. Which is sad – and yet, not new. People have been escaping the present moment probably since the beginning of the notion of ‘free time’ – through gossip (rampant among the Bible: Exodus 20:16, Psalm 34:13, and on and on…), plays (Shakespeare), television (shows were first created in the 1930s), alcoholism, drugs, workaholism… the only difference is that we now have (many) more choices in which we can ‘lose’ (escape) ourselves – though only briefly. As with any other addiction, the more one does it, the more one feels the need to do it; it’s a tough cycle to break. Especially when everyone around us seems to be doing it – it can almost feel ‘okay’.

    And yet, looking back, we know that what can seem ‘okay’ in a group context can be anything but when examined honestly. (It isn’t called “mob mentality” for nothing.) My lifestyle is far from ‘popular’ (indeed, most of my friends and family simply do not understand why I live the way I do) – and yet, it’s what makes me feel the most sincerely, authentically alive – no electrical stimulation required. [Yup, I know exactly how that sounds – that was the point.] 😉

    Good for you for having the self-awareness to really see what was occurring in your life – and for having the courage to make changes. I hope they serve you well!

    Now go knock on that boy’s door, and ask him if he’d like to get a cup of coffee with you. Be bold!

    • Sy says:

      Hi Stef, so no electrical stimulation required? Don’t you have a blog and isn’t that how we’re talking now? Please say yes, because if we’re not, then I might be really losing it.

      • Stef says:

        Yes Sy, you’re correct, you’re not completely insane (yet). 😉

        I try to live a happy middle-way life; I certainly use technology (I’m not Amish, nor do I pretend to be), but I can also set my technology aside, and refrain from using it when: out to dinner, talking with someone live face-to-face, at a concert, driving, sitting in meditation…. (hopefully you get the point). Capiche?

    • I think that the escape you are talking about must truly be a part of human nature. It is often tough to be, as you said, with oneself. I think that is where things like meditation can be so beneficial and important–it forces you to face that free time.

  2. Sy says:

    Four days? You’re brave. About eight years ago I went for almost a year without a cell phone in protest of my wife and kids overtexting. I paid $600 to cancel the plan because I told them it was cheaper than keeping up with them.
    Then yesterday I was at the dentist because I cracked a tooth on an olive pit and I started browsing on my smart phone while sitting in the chair waiting for the novocaine to take effect.
    His assistant came back in and asked if I was having fun, so I showed her my blog and asked her to stop by. But you’re right, it is a little nuts and as funny as this might sound your post really didn’t seem that long. I loved the singing telegraph suggestion.

    • Sy, I wish I could go a year without a cell phone! Did you cancel your wife and kids’ plans as well, or just your own? I actually quite loved being connectionless for the weekend, but I’m not sure I’d love it for a year. I think the thing I missed the most was playing Words With Friends! 🙂

  3. Sy says:

    I get it, Stef

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