We have an epidemic in this country of people not paying attention. Instead of just watching TV, they have the two screen experience and are tweeting while watching. When out to dinner, instead of talking with their dinner companions, everyone is checking in on Foursquare and reading Yelp reviews. I am sadly guilty of all of these things and really do want to learn how to be more present in my life.
I did something unusual last night.(No, it was not only stepping away from my TV on a weekday night, as unusual as that was.) J, our friend Steve, and I had tickets to see Bruce Springsteen. The concert took place at the MidFlorida Amphitheater in Tampa. We had lawn seats and not wanting to take my purse with me, I decided to leave my phone in the car.
I love Bruce Springsteen and have seen him many times in concert. It is always an amazing show. The kind where I end up dancing (poorly) the entire time. Even then, at first I kind of missed my phone. It felt strange not having the constant contact and updates, even just knowing what time it is. Yet, most of my life there wasn’t even the internet. I didn’t have a cell phone as a teenager and was fine. (I did have a pager so my Mom could get ahold of me when I was out of the house and that was kind of annoying.)
I noticed during the concert, people taking selfies, recording the show, and checking their email. I realized that I was having so much more fun actually experiencing the concert, that I really did not miss having my phone. Being present in the moment and paying attention to what was going on around me was actually letting me enjoy the concert even more. I know I spend more time than I should ignoring what is going on around me, in favor of reading the latest news or catching up on Twitter.
Moving forward, instead of trying to get the best picture of Bruce Springsteen doing an acoustic rendition of Thunder Road, which he closed the show with and it was amazing, I will sing along and enjoy the experience. I plan to unplug and be more present.
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.
Henry David Thoreau