I decided to do something different today.
When I was out running errands I decided to leave my really good friend, my iPhone6, in the car.
When I first got out of the car the iPhone looked at me. It blinked a few times. What? You're going to leave? Literally I heard Siri say, you're actually going to go into a place without me?
Siri continued to say, what are you going to do without me?
But I decided that I would do this, because I wanted to know what it felt like to be normal again.
I'm sorry, but our behavior is not normal anymore.
Wherever we go, whenever we're waiting anywhere, we're constantly looking at our phones. Whether it's checking out some narcissistic comment on Facebook, or somebody's selfie on Instagram.
Checking out an email you must get back to and you're five minutes away from the office.
Texting a person who's not even there in the moment with some ridiculous message.
I decided to see what it would feel like without my third arm, the iPhone6.
I went into Chase Bank and made a deposit.
There were a few people in the waiting room. I waited for the banker to take my check, and get me a new set of checks.
I sat down, looked around.
Was the wall always beige?
Were there always two coolers of water on the side?
I'm a very observant person, and even I started recognizing things I'd never seen before. As a matter of fact the colors of Chase were beige and blue and white. I don't believe I knew that, even though I've been into a Chase probably 1,000 times.
I sat there looking at the drawing on the wall and thought to myself, has that always been there, that mural?
There were a few people in the waiting room, all without their phones. We looked at each other awkwardly, as people do nowadays when they don't have their iPhone6 or some other smartphone to protect them.
We smiled that awkward smile like "Whoa, wait a second, we're in an awkward social situation. We might have to actually talk to one another because we don't have our human pacifiers with us."
I smiled back, and said a few words, and started talking. I thought to myself, this is how I used to do it. I used to walk around all the time without my phone. Matter of fact, I used to walk around all the time talking to people every single day. It was one of my favorite things to do.
I went to my next errand stop, a natural food market called Erewhon on Beverly Boulevard.
There were so many people in there. So many people on the phone.
As I was waiting for my food, I started chatting with the lady behind the counter.
I was staring at her, engaged in conversation, and I realized this is the real David Wygant.
This is what I teach, but I had become so attached to my phone that I had lost some part of that friendly, outgoing guy that was so much a part of me. Now, I'm not saying I don't talk to people when I'm out and about. I do talk to people, but not as many as I used to because I constantly have my phone with me. Constantly checking whatever I'm checking. And believe me, whatever I'm checking, as we all know, is really not that important.
As I proceeded to converse with the people behind the counter, I learned things about them. One of them was going to school, working here part-time during the day.
A customer next to me, who also was without her phone, chimed in and started telling me that they're all still in school, just going to classes and learning the latest yoga teacher trends.
Now that's an L.A. cliche if you've ever seen one.
But we all got into a conversation, and it felt really nice.
As I sat there to eat lunch, I wasn't looking at ESPN or my fantasy football league. I was sitting there, by myself at a table, actually eating. I know it's a challenge not to look at something or answer emails or multi-task.
But it actually felt quite nice. I started chatting up the people around me, and they actually put down their phones, aching for connection like most people are.
Then I went to the place where I do my freeze, Cryohealthcare. Instead of going in with my phone, I decided to sit there and wait my turn, talking to other people about why they're there. It was a really beautiful experience, to run errands without my phone, without having to check who made a comment on my blog or which customer needed some help, or if one of my friends was texting me, and checking my fantasy lineup for the 14th time.
I think this is something we need to do. We have talked about it many times but it seems to be falling on deaf ears.
How many times do I tell people to stop walking around on their phone but everybody still does? Even me. I think that's what we need to do. I think we just need to go back to when communication and information was not always instantly available, and make ourselves actually more available in the moment.
You see, by being always available to those away from us, we become less available for the people who are checking us out right next to us.
The people who would like to meet us, the people who would love to have a conversation.
Almost like we should wear a shirt that says: I'm available.
I swear if all of us can just drop our phones for one week, we would go back to having those awkward moments again. Those magic awkward moments that we so desperately crave, desire and need to sustain our human race.
Put the phone down. Go out and just live one day, just a few hours, without your phone. Watch what happens. I've said this so many times, but I guarantee you a social life if you just do this.