So Fridays. Are we so busy that we crave Fridays like a hipster craves veggie burgers? I was going to go with me craving cookies but I have to write a blog post, I don’t want to think about cooki---aww, guys? How could you. (nom nom nom…)
Okay, I’m back. (wiping away crumbs...) So Fridays. Let’s get existential, I know you guys love that.
Wherever I go, there I am.
I know someone famous said it, but to be honest, I only remember Jim Carrey saying it as kind of a joke when he was a guest on Oprah years ago. He was talking about learning to be “present”. Aka not busy. Aka not permanently attached to your smartphone. I think. He said something about enlightenment. I don’t know. He followed that interview with the movie Dumb and Dumber (the second installment), so clearly one can be “enlightened” and still make bad choices.
The other day in the bookstore, I glanced over at the Starbucks, wondering if I should…no. I shouldn’t. Then I caught sight of a lady just sitting there pleasantly drinking her latte and gazing out the window. No lap-top, no phone, no tablet…nothing. Not even a newspaper. (if you are unfamiliar, newspapers are these large paper-like things with words written all over them and even some pictures that tell you current news, similar to what you’d see in Google headlines on your monitor. You actually hold this item in your hand and physically turn the pages. I know, it’s bizarre. But people used to read these all the time! They still sell them in some places, I think).
So, this lady. Just sitting there. Not doing anything but sipping her latte. Like an insane person. I texted the situation to my sister. Then I switched my phone to one hand to thumb request a different song on my playlist. Then I thumbed at another app to see if my daughter finished the round of the word game I had challenged her to. Then thumbed out a quick Snapchat of my impressed face, because she came up with the word “chromium”. While I waited for my sister and daughter’s replies, I quickly posted a video of my dog chasing her tail, catching it, and looking at me like, “what now”…on Instagram. Then I thumbed up to check my connection (reception was getting a little dicey).
All this with one hand (one thumb) because with the other hand I was picking up various gift items in the store and turning them over to see the price to see if they meant gifts as in ones you buy or gifts as in ones you hope to get. I decided the latter and tried to put them back…failing.
Dropping my phone, my purse, the gift, my coffee, my dignity, and every last one of my marbles! It made the most epic clatter and mess ever made (by not a three year old) in that bookstore (I’m assuming). Of course I reached for my phone, heart racing (never mind the broken glass, contents of purse, coffee, marbles everywhere…how is my PHONE!?? )
My phone was okay. It was crying. I patted it’s back…there, there. Oh. Not crying…vibrating. The replies were coming in.
My sister: Insane person, huh. Tell me, how many things are you doing right now on your phone? How many apps are open? Pot calling kettle black, much?
I sent her that angry faced emoticon. The one where the little face goes from red to purple - and swiped right. Pfft…insane. “Multi-tasking”, I call it. On reflection (after seeing it written here) I will concur. Also the tiniest little bit insane.
If aliens were watching us from another planet, we wouldn’t really look that busy. We usually just look like we’re staring at screens. All the action is in our heads. Of course, the aliens can read minds, so obviously we are one pretty entertaining reality show down here.
I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. Maybe I am a little too busy with relatively unimportant things. Maybe I should be more “present” instead of wandering aimlessly through cyberspace. Let’s make a deal. It’s almost the weekend, maybe I’ll put away all the devices (aka vices).
Hey, thanks! I feel less encumbered already.
So…just out of curiosity…like, all the devices? I mean…I need my phone for emergencies. How about I keep it on and just don’t use it? Yes? (thanks!)
How about we try this next weekend…give me a week to get comfortable with the idea.
Thanks again (you are so understanding).