I'm driving down Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles, and if you've ever been here you'll know what a crazy road it is. It's a narrow two-lane street, which should clearly be one lane. People park in the right hand lane, oblivious to getting out of their cars into traffic!
Today, on this road of madness, I experienced another example of phones turning people into mindless robots.
Here's what happened, and three reasons you need to put your phone down before you're transformed into Mr or Mrs. Oblivious... (or worse):
1. It Makes You Switch "Off "
As I was trying to navigate the credit-card-width margin between cars (and EVERYONE driving way too fast), I see a woman in her car on the phone. She just couldn't put the thing down. It's as if it was pinned to her ear. Suddenly, she opened the car door, almost hitting my front bumper. Luckily, I was hyper alert and managed to swerve out the way.
Even then, she looked at me like I was crazy. It was as if she was completely tuned out of life. She was oblivious, but then most people are nowadays.
2. You Miss The Details of Life
People are walking around these days oblivious to the details of their lives. The funny thing is, the answers to most of life's problems are found in the details. I see examples of it all the time. People talking, supposedly engaged in conversation, but not really listening because they're too busy reading something on their phone.
When you pay attention to life, you always have things to talk about. Makes it infinitely easier when you meet someone you want to flirt with. You don't have to "think" of something to say, you're participating in the experience of life. When the thing you most engage with is your phone, interacting with another human being feels foreign.
Most of us are so wrapped up in our own world and the epicenter of it is our phone.
Recently, a friend of mine met a woman online he really liked. They emailed, texted, had some chemistry on the phone so they decided to meet for lunch.
But when they met for lunch, she showed up with three phones she was engaging with in one way or another.
For him it was a non-starter. I mean if she brought three phones on their first date, can you a imagine what being in a relationship with her would be like?
3. It's Addictive
I swear you'd think people live inside their phones. If they had one wish they'd jump into their phone and exist within their imaginary world 24/7. It's addictive and it's dangerous.
If you live life through your experiences, you'll probably be happier than living through your smartphone. People who smoke say they feel like cigarettes are their friend. Like they're always there for them when things get tough. But we all know cigarettes kill you.
It's the same thing with your phone. If you take it too far, and you're not paying attention to your life, you never know what might happen. And the adverse is true: Imagine if you put the phone down. How much more of real life would you experience... how many more real connections and meaningful relationships would you make?
You'll never know unless you try.
Every day there are people cutting you off in traffic because they're not paying attention. Bumping into you in person or ignoring you because they're so engrossed in what's happening on their phone.
It's rude and it's dangerous, but society has become this way. We have become less aware. We've become involved with ourselves and we don't care about other people.
When you drive, drive. When you walk, walk. The more you observe, the more you live. The more you notice, the more involved you get and the more opportunities you have to meet people. The next time someone honks at you, don't give them the finger.
Wave to them and thank them for waking your stupid ass up at a stop light because you were too busy texting somebody or checking your Facebook feed. The next time you open your car door, check to make sure there's no traffic coming. The next time you cross the street, make sure you're looking both ways. We've totally forgotten about things that we learned as kids because we've become so absorbed in our phones.