I have officially become a professional people watcher. Yes, I am entertained by simply watching people and how they interact with the different dynamics while out; their friends, love ones, or even a stranger. I did not find the occupation but it found me.
My mother has always been a stricter for time. All of the clocks in her house are set 47 minutes fast (I don’t understand why it couldn’t be an easy interval; instead, I have to solve a whole math problem to see what time it really is). Naturally, being her baby girl who acts just like her at times; TIME IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME. I am close to always on time and almost to the point of anxiety if I am running late.
My friends on the other hand.
And not just ONE group of friends, but almost EVERY SINGLE FRIEND that I have is TERRIBLE with time. So I find myself in places that we are supposed to meet….WAITING. And I result in people watching.
As I watch other people it seems as though they have broken their necks and it is stuck to look down at their phones. They can be at the club or surround by people in a restaurant and the whole crew is focused with their head down instead of entertaining one another. We never want to miss a beat so we complete a cycle full of refreshing Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, repeat.
When did we become crackheads for our phones?
It wasn’t until I was listening to an episode of the podcast “The Friend Zone,” where I was first introduced to this concept of the Dopamine Loop. In their Hot Button issue, they discussed an article from Psychology Today. Dopamine is the action in our brain that triggers our anticipation for a reward; we almost crave the want for it more than the actual thing. The article continues to say that...
“Dopamine starts you seeking, then you get rewarded for the seeking which makes you seek more. It becomes harder and harder to stop looking at email, stop texting, or stop checking your cell phone to see if you have a message or a new text.” (Source Psychology Today)
Which now makes sense of why we run 74 mph across the room as soon we hear a notification from our phones. Another interesting number Hey Fran Hey, pointed out in this episode is that on average people check their phones an average of 154 times a day. I thought that number was high, but in the 15 minutes I have been typing this article; I’m already on #8. IN ONLY 15 MINUTES!
Can You Connect?
Imagine this. You walk into an elevator, with another person on it. You may say “hello” (well I’m from the south and we talk to everybody). Neither of you know what to really say to each other on this ride, and the vibe is starting to get a little awkward. Of course, you attempt to look at the elevator button or maybe read the maintenance certificate for the thousandth time.
Instead of finding common ground and maybe talk about the weather, to lighten the load both of you pull out your phones and rotate between every app in your phone until your floor arrives.
Technology has disconnected us to the point where we don’t know how to carry conversations with people anymore.
To be honest, I’m am not exempt from any of this that I just shared. I too am OD connected to my phone, but there has been a game changer. Because I like to break the mold, and everybody over the age of 36 think that Millennials are obsessed with their phone I have become more aware. When I’m out with my friends (after they FINALLY show up), or waiting in line in the grocery store, I put my phone in my pocket and attempt to have conversations with real live people. In doing so, I have heard some incredible stories and even met people that have similar paths or connections as me.
I want to bring to you a revelation. If you put your phone up, YOU CAN STILL LIVE!
Did I just blow your mind? The fact of being connected interferes with our productivity. If you’re on the phone the probability of you watching someone else make their dreams happen instead of working towards yours is pretty high. Become more aware of the time that you spend on the phone.
Decide to disconnect from your phone.
Connect back with real live people.
Connect back to your dreams!