You really do need to chill out. And so do I.
This morning, I found myself outside of Della’s 5&10 in Cape May, NJ. Andrea went inside to look around and I just sat outside.
That’s all I did. Sit and look around. Do you remember what that is like?
While on Conan, comedian Louis C. K. went off for a while about people’s inability to just be alone, and our dependency on always checking out phones. It’s a great and very true point about our culture today. I recommend watching the video below to see his well-spoken point (but I do warn that it’s not all clean).
The point that Louis makes is the same that I thought about while outside of the 5&10. I didn’t check Facebook or Twitter, or even play backgammon (love that game). I just sat and looked around. If you do that, you’ll see two things.
First, you’ll notice that EVERYONE ELSE IS ON THEIR PHONE! Well, not literally everyone else, but lots of people. Parents walking with their kids, couples (old and young alike), children, grandparents, so many people. People that could be talking, holding hands, sharing a connection. But instead, they are doing what we all do. Walk or stand or sit while on their phone. Losing the real personal connection in order to have a brief passing online moment on the “anti-social” media Internet. See the fantastic video below by Prince EA for more on that topic.
The other thing you’d do if you just sit and look around? You’ll see so many things you normally would miss. People walking by, stores to stop in, kids and their pets that might make you smile. There is so much out there that is right in front of our eyes, yet we miss it because we are tweeting or texting or Facebooking. Putting away your phone (and TV and tablet) allows you to chill out and take in your world.
I have a great little pug named Henry. Sometimes, after I walk him around the block, I don’t take him right into the house and go about my day. Sometimes, I sit on the stone wall in our front yard and talk to him. He loves it. And so do I. I don’t need to pull out my phone or get right to the next task that life has for me. I just need to look at my dog and my neighborhood and the cars driving by. Sometimes Henry and I just sit there for 10 or 15 minutes and neither of us says a word. We just “be”. And we chill out. If you build moments like that into your day, you will refresh your brain and be better prepared to face the next of life’s challenges. And you’ll see things you otherwise wouldn’t have noticed. It’s so worth it.
Look up. Look around. Chill out. It’s great.
Thanks to Louis CK and Prince EA for their brilliance, their great words and their inspiration!