Look Up

Happy Friday! Another week has flown by! The longest trip yet shortest stay for the Apple Event, and then just in time for the YG Concert the previous and the F1 Grand Prix just this past weekend. If there is one thing that I can rely on for all my latest updates is my phone. And after seeing the new revelation for the iPhone 6 and all of its capabilities and the apple watch, I couldn’t help leaving feeling both excited and slightly mortified. But even with all the hype of technology don’t forget to enjoy your weekend and look up!

Lets face it, whether you are team iPhone, Galaxy or whatever, every one of these companies have been sprucing up with the latest technologies to compliment their version of smartphones. All this synchronization with one machine to another, being able to read your heart rate, etc., while the notion is super convenient, doesn’t it petrify you that we rely on this tool 24/7 of our lives? It almost makes me wonder how on earth we managed to live our lives without it?!

I rely heavily on my iPhone, I think most of my life is locked up with a 4 digit passcode, be it photos, datas, dates, contacts, books, search engines, all my favourite apps, you name it.. and I’m sure the majority of you can relate. How many of you have your first 5 immediate contact numbers memorized?

And the one thing which is even beyond scarier than reliability of our smartphones, is the lack of human interaction, and this is pretty universal everywhere in the world where smartphones exist. Whether you are in a restaurant, the public transit, driving, walking, even in your own home, we are constantly looking down on our phones; checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, so consumed with instantaneous status feeds. We are all guilty of it.

I will  be one to admit, I love using all of those social media apps. And a recent study from Piqora (an analytics tracking company) produced some interesting stats on the average monthly time one spends on their Social Media app (be it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.,) which is 257 minutes! That is 4 hours and 17 minutes to be exact, whether it is all in one go or spread sporadically, that is a good chunk of our lives we could have spent with our loved ones – gone – staring and scrolling at our phone screens.

And I am probably one of the many (amongst Bloggers and Marketing/PR/Communication Associates) that spends more than the average from Piqora’s data, when I saw the number, I had to laugh — I easily spend four hours on Instagram every week, if not more. I am not proud, but I am definitely more conscientious of it.

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Let’s face it, it’s like a little window to the world that you can hold in the palm of your hand. I find this window a vast of resource at my fingertips, it’s kind of like sitting by a window or on a park bench after a long day of work to gather your thoughts and draw inspiration, watching all the interesting people pass by. One of my favorite things to do is lie in my bed at night before sleeping—scrolling through my feed, liking photos, following new people, exploring hashtags, and generally taking it all in. Is that so bad?

Here’s when I knew my love for Instagram had morphed into an unhealthy habit: when, instead of paying attention to my friend during our ‘catch-up’, I would almost unconsciously reach for my phone and tap my Instagram icon. Or when I am with my hubster, and he is a tech lover, too, and I started to notice that we would sometimes end up spending our QT together independently on our phones instead of actually interacting. I found this new reality to be sad, and knew something needed to be done to change it. And so, here’s how I’m working on my habit.

1. Limit “home” phone time

As a fashion lover and someone who’s generally passionate with all things fashion, part of my denial was wrapped up in this idea that I simply had to check Instagram, because I need to keep abreast of all the ‘latest’ in the fashion world in real time. Even if this is true on some level, that doesn’t excuse my checking Instagram late at night and even before getting out of bed in the morning—if it really is work, I should do it at work and not at home. While I’m probably far from totally cutting out Instagram while I’m at home, I’ve tried to limit my time to 30 minutes or less, and trust me, that’s a pretty significant improvement.

2. Avoid picking up your phone when with Company

The ideal thing to do when you’re in any social situation is to not be on your phone at all. After all, there is nothing more disrespectful and annoying than sitting across the table from a friend getting the “my phone is more important than you” attitude. Why sit and ‘socialize’ to begin with? You can put your phone down and enjoy real human interaction for a couple of hours. I get it, but nothing is important as the moment in which you are in presently. If you miss it, you are missing out more than what is mostly regurgitated news on your social media platforms. (How many times do you need to know that H&M and Alexander Wang are collaborating? And even if I am not the first to RT that mega news, I am sure someone else will)

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And lets be honest, in between all that, have you bothered to listen and make eye contact to those in your current presence? We are seriously lacking social etiquette more and more, and need to start setting examples. The next time you are with company, try to refrain from checking social media. Posting to social media is different, of course. Snapping a group selfie and posting it is fair game—I just try hard not to sit there and scroll through my feed when I’m hanging out with other people.

Just recently on a gorgeous night out having dinner with my hubster, we noticed a couple sitting a few tables down both on their phone and not even talking to each other. It is a sad sight, and it makes you wonder, why they even bothered eating out to begin with? Regardless if both of the persons are guilty of it, it doesn’t make it okay. The changes start from within, don’t just expect your partner or others to agree with you if you are not setting the tone and example.

3. Put your phone on airplane mode when possible

Did the sound of that just scare you? I know the mere thought of being without cell service for extended periods of time is enough to give most of modern society a panic attack. I mean even when we lose a bar from our signal we curse out blasphemy and bloody murder!

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But I try to use airplane mode when I’m unlikely to need my phone to communicate with others—in the movie theater, while I’m working out, and sometimes even when I’m out to dinner—thereby discouraging me from checking my phone. Airplane mode is definitely not just for airplanes—it’s a great way to disconnect when I’m running or hiking, because I can still listen to my music and you are actually saving the battery life to last longer.

4. Pick up and read a book

This might come as a shock to many of us, but there are these things called books that also provide a new and different window into the world. They are made of paper and usually bound between two covers, and you can either purchase them to own or get them for free at this institution called the Library. I usually have a stack of books by my desk and bed, and when my urge to reach for my Instagram device is strongest, I try very hard to reach for a book instead. Sometimes even my will power gets the best of me —but sometimes I succeed. And that’s called making a difference. So tell me, what is a good book that you have read recently that you can recommend to me?

Watch the video, as it may make you think twice on the importance of looking up. And since we are headed towards another awesome weekend, try it. You have no excuses.

The Creator of this video got a lot of flack as much as he received praises, and there are even parodies renditioned off of this, but people are missing the point and misinterpreting the message behind this video, it’s not supposed to be life changing – but for you to just take a second and physically lift your head and look up to everything else that is going on around you.

And just maybe, once you get a breath of fresh air, it will make you realize that the whole world does not revolve around you and you alone. And that life does go on. What does that mean? You have to choose and prioritize what is important to you, do you lose a couple of hours of what is going on around with the rest of the World? or lose what is going on physically with those closest around you? I get it, we live in a world so consumed with technology and social media, and for most of us, our life and jobs are immersed in it. And as much as we are connected by SMS and texts, thus making the physical human touch and interaction all the more important. We still need a healthy dose of reality and virtuality, and we are the ones who can find the fine balance between the two. Like everything else in life, there is a time and a place, even for using your phone.

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And, NO what I am doing above does not count as looking up lol

Do you ever think that you might be addicted to your phone and social media feeds? Share your thoughts and comment below!

Yvette xo

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