Look up – Are we spending too much time looking at our screens?

As I’ve mentioned, I have been working on  improving my life,  body, and wellbeing. And so far, I’m doing pretty well.

I have a routine each morning that I’m enjoying right now.

I get up early and drink two big glasses of water first thing. I’ve always known the benefits of drinking water, and the older I get the more I’ve come to realize water truly is the fountain of youth.  

After my water, I make a cup of green tea and then sit down at my computer to go over details in my Facebook group, re-read my post for the day, and check my email. Before I know it, an hour (or two) has past and I realize I need to get off my butt electronics and move around.

By 9am I’m feeling pretty accomplished and decide to treat myself to a coffee at one of our local shops. I love that we live in the city and it always feels good to go stretch my legs and walk downtown.

Once there, I usually grab my drink and sit down and look at my phone. It’s usually crowded and the other day I had to bellied up to the bar between a few others and sip my drink while looking at Instagram.

Within five minutes, the gentleman sitting to my left started talking to me. He said, “Isn’t it interesting that we are all on our phones?”. My first thought was, “Can’t you see I’m on my phone!”. And then my brain caught what he was saying.

I looked around and he was right.

Every single person in the room was looking down on their phones. Even those sitting with someone.

He then told me he took his elderly parents out to celebrate his Mother’s birthday, and both his parents were on their phones during dinner.

That one surprised me.

We chatted for some time and when I left, I put my phone in my pocket and walked back home, thinking about what he’d said.

I know most of us spend a lot of time on our phones, but I’m not sure I realized just how much. On most of my walks I’ve had to tell people walking towards me on the sidewalk to look up, before they run into me.

I’ve even seen people walking across the street at a cross walk looking down at their phones.

Last week, John and I went to see Jackson Browne at the Santa Barbara Bowl. It was a great concert that we thoroughly enjoyed. But I was surprised to see how many people had their phones up taking photos or videoing him. It was strange to be watching and listening to him sing through so many screens.

How did we become like this?

I love my phone and take it almost everywhere. But I also know I need to look up and enjoy life around me. Knowing it and doing it are two different things for me, however.

On vacation in beautiful Rostrevor Ireland … on my phone

Every day there is another news story about someone who caused an auto accident because of texting or using his or her phone.

John sent me an article the other day stating scientific evidence that cell phone use and blindness have been linked. You can read the article here.

So what do we do about this? Is it even possible as a society to change now?

I’m not sure we can, but I’m going to add this to my list of self-improvements and stop and look up more. How about you?

Reader Comments

  1. Tina Tuszynski

    Ugh – I am bad when it comes to my phone. Part of it is that I use it for work throughout the day, and part of it is that I really enjoy keeping up and engaging with online friends. AND I love to take pictures! But I’ve recently tried to leave my phone in my fanny pack when I go for walks and workout, so there’s that. It’s ironic, because when mobile phones first came out, they irritated me so much because people (family, friends, clients) could call you at anytime of day and interrupt whatever you were doing. Now I feel like I must respond to every work email within minutes. And we saw Jackson Browne last year at Wrigley Field and he was amazing.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      I’m so like you…right now I have over 15,000 photos on my phone! crazy

      There has to be a balance – somehow. Walks, exercise, driving and sleeping are the only times I’m not looking at my phone every few minutes!

      How cool you saw Jackson Browne at Wrigley! I didn’t know they had concerts there.

  2. kerry

    Totally agree with you! It always makes me sad when you see a family at dinner, and all of them are on their phones. Such a sad state we have got to. In our house we have a no phones at the table rule, and its a tech free zone between 6-8pm. Thankfully, the rules have worked as my boys wouldnt dream of picking up their phone in company etc. We can all just be mindful cant we. Its an important topic, thanks for sharing x

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you Kerry, and great suggestions. I so agree about no phones at the table. It’s our time to be together and share!!

  3. Hilda Smith

    I am also an over user and I am determined to limit my time. I would love to know how every one else manages it. I spend far too much time reading FB and Insta posts and then blog posts on my laptop.
    I have been so bad recently with exercise etc and am determined that tomorrow I will start getting myself back on track. Life just got in the way…

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Right there with you Hilda. I wrote this and then spent hours on my phone and laptop this morning! Made me feel like crap. So, I put some music on and decided to clean out my closet. Felt so much better.

  4. Cindy Scurry

    I’m definitely on my phone a lot but I have long periods where I don’t get on it. I even didn’t take it with me for several hours one evening while we were in Montauk! UNHEARD OF! ha! I did miss it for taking pictures tho. 🙁

    I prioritize my time on it – looking at messages, then IG and then FB. If I don’t have time to get to everything then FB is the loser in that equation. Messages usually don’t take much time – but I do have 3 sisters and 4 nieces and we like to keep up with each other.

    IG gets most of my time. I enjoy it and I get inspiration from it. I also feel like several of the people I follow are friends now and I enjoy that. All in all, about 2.5+ hours a day on IG probably. I probably spend about an hour taking pictures, deciding which one to post and posting it on IG, FB and my blog.
    It’s definitely a hobby that I treat like a second job.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Good for you for leaving your phone behind! I am terrible about that!!

      It is a full time job keeping up and posting too. I’m lucky that I have the time right now.

  5. Leslie Clingan

    These darn phones are going to be the death of us, one way or the other. I just started a new part-time job and I have to sit in an office chair that is unadjustable. At first, I thought I was sitting too low but now I am thinking maybe low is better than too high. At least I am looking up!!

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