I have a confession to make… I am a hypocrite. You see, I have a serious pet-peeve. (I have many of them but I can only handle so much confessing at one time) The cell-phone addiction in our culture is reaching epidemic levels. When I go out and see families or friends lost in their screens rather than in the company they are holding, it makes my blood boil.
We have become so reliant upon our phones that we are losing focus on what really matters and we’re losing the ability to think for ourselves. Though I know I can be very guilt of this myself, I try hard to be present in what I’m doing and who I am with.
So imagine my surprise this morning as I pulled into the parking lot to meet my friend for an event we were headed to and as I went to check the time, I realized I had forgotten my phone. The wave of panic was instantaneous.
Immediately, my brain kicked into worst case scenario. What if something happens and no one can get ahold of me? What if my daughter tries to call me? What if someone texts and I’m unable to respond for 4 or 5 hours? The ‘what if’s’ fueled the panic.
Next, I grappled with a solution. “I’ll drive back home.” “I just won’t go to the event at all.” “I’ll just be late so I can make sure I have it.” None of these were effective, necessary, or realistic. So the next viable option was that I go to the event without my phone. I HATED that solution but it was the one that made the most sense.
By the time my friend got there, I had begun to digest the idea that I would be unreachable for at least half of the day. I trusted that the world would continue to revolve without anyone needing or perhaps even wanting to get ahold of me.
I explained the situation and she assured me that all was well and we headed out as planned. Until suddenly another wave; my ticket and registration for the event were in my email… ON MY PHONE! She assuredly kept driving.
We weren’t sure of the exact address and I would’ve loved to help her navigate but of course, I use my Maps app… ON MY PHONE!
Several other friends were joining us there and we had agreed to text for a meeting place. Of course, all of their contact info is safely stored… ON MY PHONE!!
I had no ID to prove who I was. I had no money, no credit cards because I store all of that, well you know… ON MY PHONE!!
It took me a solid 15 minutes to get some perspective. In all reality, what was the worst thing that could happen? Maybe they would turn me away at the door. My friend and I would have to miss the event. Or perhaps I would leave by myself and enjoy a beautiful day walking around downtown. Maybe my friends would be a bit miffed with my lack of response until they found out the details of the situation. What was the real tragedy other than the perceived sense of doom and vulnerability?
Well needless to say, it all worked out fine. They quickly registered me simply by asking for my name. My friends were there enjoying their coffee. There was no need to check email, weigh in on social media, or buy a thing. And when I finally did return home, I had a total of 3 messages waiting (and yes one from my daughter, though thankfully no tragedy).
The world still turned. No one and nothing fell apart but it was a huge eye-opener to my own hypocrisy. One of my deepest pet-peeves is one I now realize I am totally guilty of. Big dose of humility and awareness for me today!!