Don’t call it a resolution, call it a personal revolution
Here we are, the start of a new year and the obligatory chatter of resolutions and changes.
Usually I keep this blog to sports, sharing my rants and generally obnoxiously strong opinions. But today I will take a departure from that and talk about something I think we can all relate to.
I went to LA for a couple days prior to New Year’s to spend some time with someone I don’t get to see often enough. We went to a movie and to a place to play some pool afterwards…and yes – I’m talking billiards, people.
Sitting in the movie theater, looking around the pool hall, even just walking the 50-or-so yards from one place to the next, I was hyper aware of everyone’s telephones.
Everyone was face-deep in their cell phones, and few people were actively engaging in other’s physical presence. Sorry, but carrying on a conversation in person while both or all people involved are also carrying on a conversation with someone electronically is NOT communicating.
I am just as guilty as the next person. Aside from being with one person, I am constantly attached to my cell phone. I can’t even get up and leave the room for two minutes without feeling obligated to take my phone. There have been reasons for that. We all have them “reasons” – or maybe a better way to put it is we all have “excuses.”
I’ll be honest about the evolution of my cell phone becoming tethered to me. I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for over a year and a half. I was hyper vigilant about being available ALL THE TIME because I missed him, I wanted him to know I was there always, even though it may only be via technology.
I’m sure a lot of you can relate in some way to that. It’s a gradual process. When a relationship is brand new, you’re excited. Every text and every phone call is like your own personal butterfly sanctuary in your belly!
As good as that feels, that may not be the best precedent to set. There’s going to be times where you just cannot be available. Then, after making yourself uber available – answering the phone while in the shower, on the treadmill, stepping out of a meeting (you get where I’m going with this) – when you’re not answering, it can breed issues in your relationship.
Where is he/she? What’s going on? What are they doing? They’ve always been available before. They must be doing something they shouldn’t be. That’s where insecurities and trust issues can start to bleed into things and we all know the path that leads to.
But truth be told, that wasn’t the only reason. As soon as I took the job doing The Drive on Sports1140 KHTK, I began to understand why Carmichael Dave, who I used to berate for his cell phone addiction, is constantly on his phone.
We do a job, as I’m sure many of you do as well, where you’ve got to constantly be available via email, text, etc. in order to stay on top of things. Unfortunately many of our jobs are inescapable thanks to technology. We are never truly away. That can be a great thing, but it can also be a suffocating and eventually suck all the balance out of your life.
Balance. That’s something that has always been important to me. Something I’ve always tried to prioritize in my life.
It’s been difficult maintaining balance for me ever since I’ve taken the job doing the morning show. My personal life has suffered both in terms of my relationship, my friendships and my family. Time is at a premium and I don’t have a lot of it.
I am not complaining because I love what I do. I love doing the radio. I love my work with the Kings on the TV side. But I had a revelation as 2016 winded down.
I cannot control my work schedule or workload. It is what it is. I can, however, control how present I am while I am enjoying that rare time with friends and family.
Before you just kind of write this off as someone sitting on their “unplug” soapbox screaming, “Put down your devices!!!” I encourage you to try something for me.
The next time you are in a public place – a restaurant, in the grocery store checkout line, at the gym – it doesn’t really matter where, just take a look around and see how many people are on their phones.
Then take it a step further. The next time you are in a group of people, whether socially or in a work setting, pay attention to how many people, including yourself, are on their phones.
We’ve all gotten so used to it that we’ve become impervious to it.
If your experiment ends up anything like mine and you notice how we are all gradually becoming less and less present in our own daily lives from anything other than what our cell phones provide us, then I urge you to consider rethinking things a little.
Can we at least agree on this? There’s nothing worse than carrying on a conversation with someone while they have their face buried in their phone the whole time. We’ve all experienced it and we’ve all done it.
With the start of a new year, I’m simply going to start making steps towards freeing myself from that little device that connects me to the world but disconnects me from the moment I am in.
If I’m enjoying wine on the patio with my friend, I’m putting my phone down, turning it on silent and putting it out of my mind. If I get up to go use the bathroom or heat up my coffee, I will not take my phone with me.
Let make this very clear – I am definitely not telling anyone how to live their lives here – but I definitely realize I need to make a change in mine.
I need to give myself a little peace. I need to trust that while I try to change my mentality, that the people who are so accustomed to my constant availability will understand it has nothing to do with them or how I feel about them or even my dedication to my job.
It’s simply about being present.
Don’t call it a resolution, call it a personal revolution.