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— On not getting off the phone

Gdansk Street Confining the world to only what I see…

I was waiting for the bus to take me home today when I realized everyone was on their phones. I don’t really like to be on my phone because I get into a posture that hurts my neck and shoulders. But I was standing out so it felt more comfortable being glued my to my phone.

There’s so much criticism on how everyone’s focused on their phones. “Oh, take a step back and see the beauty of the real world unravel…” I’m sick of the criticism.

We have the technology to notice things not in front of us. Digital photos, videos and audio clips allow us access to events that happened in the past. Because of technology, I have more available options, in addition to the pigeon on the sidewalk and the crying baby in front of me, on where I can direct my attention.

If I took out my contacts (also technology I use to see further) all that would be in front of me would be blobs of color. Is this what they mean by ‘enjoying what’s in front of me’?

Only with contacts do the pigeon and the baby become options for where I can place my attention. But why stop there?

Perhaps the critics of ‘glued to phone’ culture are talking more about being present in space and time.

I love staring at the stars. But those twinkling lights? Happened years, some even centuries ago. The stars I’m enjoying may have already died.

The light I’m getting from a dead star is a record of what once was. Recordings, video and audio, are signals, like light, that tell me what once was.

Why arbitrarily limit what we can enjoy ‘now’?

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I had an incredible morning.

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