I am going to start this blog off by saying I HATE how much I am on my phone. I am constantly checking this little screen and this virtual world that no one ACTUALLY lives in. I often find myself scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, but I don’t even really know what I am looking at. It’s like a bad habit that I can’t break. I am simply look at a fake world of everyone’s best moments in life, and become so caught up in people who most of the time I don’t event get to see in person. To top it off, I will post only my best moments and pictures to remind everyone how amazing my time abroad has been.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think social media and cell phones are great and serve a specific purpose. I think our phones have a great way of connecting us when we are all living our own lives. In particular I think of how often I can call and Facetime my niece and nephew while living in Ireland and I am so thankful for that.
I was inspired to write this blog because I started my work placement for my masters program a few weeks ago, working with those dealing with alcohol addiction. My placement is 3 times a week and it is about a 30-40 minute walk away from my house. At first, I was instantly annoyed that I would have to set aside another hour of the day and dedicate that to walking to and from work. With this attitude, I decided not to walk and call a cab on my first day of work. The cab driver was an 80 year old man (if you know me, I LOVE old people) so I was instantly excited to strike up a conversation with him. He was immediately shocked that I was talking with him, so much so that he said, “most kids just get in my cab, look down at their phones, and don’t talk to me.” I was taken back a little bit, thinking it was another person hating on the millennial generation. However, I realized how right he was. How many times have I gotten in a cab or gone somewhere and just stared at my phone? Probably a lot!
John (the cab driver) and I got talking, and he told me all about his life growing up at Fanad Head, which is a stunning light house right here in Donegal. We were laughing and joking about how small the world is. He told me how Fanad Head is his favorite place in the whole world and how peaceful it is to him. He also said, “we need to have more people talking face to face and sharing their stories. That is the Irish way you know?!” All I could do was smile. It really brought me back to my childhood when I had no cell phone and I would spend hours catching butterflies on the farm. When I lived in every single moment. No fake world to look at, just real life moments. I thought about all the family parties I spent talking and sharing stories, and moments playing basketball with amazing teammates and no phone to look at.
After leaving the cab, I was instantly in a better mood. I then decided that from now on, I am going to walk to work and enjoy being in the moment. I made one rule for myself, that I won’t look at my phone for those 30-40 minutes each way and just be present in the moment. Since I made this rule, the past week was so peaceful and I started smiling at people passing by me on the sidewalk, enjoyed talking to the cashier at the deli, and even noticed a couple restaurants I never knew existed.
I want to thank the amazing Irish people for reminding me to always live in the present moment and for sharing your incredible stories with the world. It is my hope that I can continue to put away my phone and not look down so much. Instead I vow to keep my head up. Enjoy life, live in the moment, because after all this moment is really all we are guaranteed.