My husband and I just returned from our annual Young Living International Grand Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. The theme this year was “Freedom” and a word I have held closely to my heart for about 5 years. The word freedom has had many meanings for me over the years, each time triggering something I wanted to be free of. There is a little humor in this post though, not the serious soul-searching quest for freedom post.
While I was at convention, in a building that was hosting over 30,000 people, I lost my phone. Not once, but twice. I have been attached to a mobile device for nearly 20 years. Both times my phone was misplaced, I had just applied the essential oil blend “Freedom”, so I found it quite funny that my sense of “connectivity” was lost. It was actually, quite freeing. Since being married to my husband we have had many conversations about when it is appropriate to be tethered to our devices, and when it is not.
Lately, I have been more aware of the hold my device has had on me. For quite awhile, I argued that I was using it for “work”, which in reality, I was using it as an escape from work. I would scroll through social media looking for inspiration and I would lose more time than I care to admit “scrolling” as my husband likes to call it. Being free of my phone for those few hours brought awareness to how often I look at my phone to see if I have notifications, or look at the time. When it was lost I was surprised and how calm I was about it. I did not freak out, and knew it would find its way back into my possession. Or if it didn’t, I would be okay. I also was forced to make conversation with people when asking for the time. I used my “freedom” wisely and spent one whole evening in my hotel room journaling and reading words printed on paper!
Technology definitely has its perks, however the ability to use it responsibly is my ultimate goal. I have often picked up my phone first thing in the morning, saw something unpleasant and my mood was impacted for a good portion of the day. I have had Facebook dictate what memories I need to revisit, and sometimes the memories maybe weren’t so pleasant. Social media can pull our strings. Artificial intelligence fits us into a perfect algorithm that knows how to get us to buy or how to make us feel so that we keep coming back for more.
Human connection is important, and I have found that actually spending time with people and talking to them either face-to-face or on the phone can alleviate a lot of the misinterpretation that occurs via text or posting on social media. It also frees up a lot of time, conversations that can span a day can be done within minutes with a sense of connectivity and clarity that can be more gratifying in terms of connection. Losing my phone gave me a moment of quiet and a knowing that I could connect to the world around me and be present, safe and able to navigate without technology. This is also something I want to model for my teen before the age of the iPhone catches up with him.