Stranded in a sea of technology

One minute, I was mindlessly staring out the window at the rolling hills of Pennsylvania blurring by, and the next minute I started rummaging through my black purse. Between the pockets that held a tube of red lipstick, a dented pack of Trident spearmint gum and a few crumpled receipts, I pulled out my earbuds. Check. Behind the other side of the divider, I reached into emptiness, expecting to find the 4″ rectangular box that contained my life– my iPhone. That’s impossible, I thought. I unplugged it on the kitchen counter before I left… right? Nope. I searched everywhere around me, but it was nowhere to be found. It was for sure still charging where I left it; the futile image seared into my mind as I sat there, unable to do anything about it. A whole weekend without my phone. Without social media or texting. And to top it all off, it was one of the most exciting weekends of the year: my sister Hannah graduating from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. How did I let that happen? How did I not double check? Much to the surprise of Generation Y… I survived. Yes, people, I didn’t die from deprivation. I guess you could say it was definitely a wake up call. It’s in a way saddening to see how much people let their phones dominate every aspect of their life. While everyone else played games on their apps around me, waiting for graduation to start, I sat there studying the endless columns of names in the program. I spotted only a few digital cameras while observing the flurry of smartphones snapping every photo op. I couldn’t possibly express in words how eye-opening of an experience it was, being iPhone-less. If anything, living in an era where capturing the moment with technology takes precedent, it made me appreciate the value of living in the moment. There’s something about soaking up every second possible, knowing you won’t be able to relive it, no matter how many times you re-watch the Snapchat videos or stare at the pictures. I had one chance to watch Hannah walk in her blue cap and gown across that stage with her head held high, sporting her 1,000 watt smile from ear to ear. My other sister Hayley had her attention and phone focused on the jumbotron above while my mom and dad took video and pictures of Hannah onstage. It felt good to sit there and take it all in.  I challenge you to do that this week. For just one hour for at least one day, turn off your phone, and take it all in. Whether you do it in the morning, at lunchtime or in the evening, unplug yourself from the tech world for 60 minutes. If I can make it through two and a half DAYS without using my iPhone, I promise you can do it too. After missing seven Facebook notifications, 13 Snapchats, 28 e-mails and 44 text messages… I survived. Some call it a miracle. I call it a learning experience. IMG_3236

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