This is a plea to all of you, every single one of you that is reading this right now:
Get off your phone.
Yes, sure, I want you to read this, but are you potentially about to cause an accident? Are you ignoring someone across the table that you could be having a perfectly pleasant conversation with? Are you blocking traffic at a stoplight, or foot traffic on the sidewalk, or in a café, just holding up other people because you're looking at your phone and not paying attention to what's happening around you?
As I was walking across the parking lot on my way to the gym this morning, this guy kept backing his car up, literally right into me. Why?
Well, because I ended up stopping and looking. I saw him with his headset in, staring at his phone as he was backing up.
I'm sure there was something important on that phone that he had to look at instead of paying attention to people in the parking lot and almost running somebody over.
Then, as I walked into the gym, a woman walked into me. Why? Because her neck was hooked down, eyes focused on her phone as she walked.
You're Missing Out on Life
Do you know that the average person spends four years on their phone - staring at their phone, looking at their phone? Four years of their life that they're allowing the phone to consume.
Everywhere you go, people are staring at their phones.
Here it is. Finally, spring has arrived.
The trees are blooming.
The birds are singing.
The flowers are coming out. But, how many of you are even noticing? Maybe you're on Facebook looking at a picture of the cherry blossoms that someone has posted and you're liking the comment. Liking it.
Nobody's paying attention anymore.
There are so many people out there complaining they can't meet anybody. Of course you can't. You're staring at your phone.
Here's something that breaks my heart - you go to an event and people are standing around staring at their phones and not talking to one another.
And this one's the worst - the other day, I went to one of my kids' gymnastics classes and what did I see? All the parents staring at their phones instead of watching their kids do gymnastics.
Every day, I see fathers, mothers sitting at tables, staring at their phones. Their kids aimlessly staring into space wondering why their parents are so disconnected.
I can only imagine this generation growing up as they watch their parents stare at the phone, how they're going to feel and what type of therapy they're going to go into, what type of phone addicts they're going to become.
Get off your phone. All of you. And start looking at life.
Look at the trees blooming.
Watch your kids playing.
Back up a car without staring at a phone.
When you're at a traffic light, watch the light turn green instead of staring at your phone.
I can't begin to tell you how often I have to honk at somebody at a traffic light here, honk at the person with their neck crooked down so I can wake them up and we can all move.
That text, let it go.
That email, that Facebook like, let it go.
Life is happening all around but none of you know it because all you're doing is staring at your phone all the time.
You sit with friends on a Friday night, all of you with your phones out on the table, staring at them. Communicating with people that aren't even there. Why bother going out with your friends?
Get off the phone, people. Check your emails when you get home.
Respond to a text when you're home or you're sitting in your office. Stop making other people wait for you. We've become self-absorbed narcissists, thinking that whatever is coming in is so important.
As I'm dictating this, the guy in front of me, trying to get out of the garage, isn't moving, and the gate's wide open. Why?
Because his head is down; he's staring at his phone because he has to get that one final text in, because it's so important.
Get off the phone. You're missing out on four years of your life.
You're missing so much of what life is all about - the moments, the connections, the flowers, the birds, the bees.
And most importantly, you're missing out on your children's memories. Things you're never, ever going to do again, like watch your kid in gymnastics class.
As your kid stares up at you, all they see is an adult staring at a little five and a half inch screen. They see you staring at your little iPhone or your Samsung smartphone.
And they wonder why you're not staring at them.
My dad wasn't present because he wasn't emotionally present. I imagine if he had a phone, then he would have had all the excuses.
Get off the phone.
It's not that important. Start seeing the magic of life around. Get off the phone people, you're driving me nuts, and you're driving other people nuts too.