Monday, 24 November 2014

Be The User, Not the Used

Our lives changed the very day smart phones were placed in our hands. People who marketed the gadget to us did a very wonderful job. They made us believe it is the only thing we needed to live a smart life. We hopped to it, thinking and believing how dumb our lives have been. Since then, everything in our homes have been made smart and now we seem to be enjoying the smart life. Not a single moment passes without us capturing it with our cameras, our friends are now closer to us than before, even strangers living in a million miles away know what we are up to with our lives. Isn't that beautiful? Now you can read this because you have a beautiful smart thing in your hand called a smartphone. As a friend of mine puts it; "yours is a beautiful generation, it seems life's problems have been made simpler." I couldn't agree more with him. Now most solutions to our problems are just but a touch away.

Technology has brought us this far and we've been enslaved by these things that technology made possible. We are not using our senses enough because we have surrendered to this new kind of slavery that only technology could make possible. We hardly look to the person next to us because we are busy chatting with friends that live in our phones. We prefer a poke on Facebook to a real touch of the person next to us. What have we become?

My phone got spoilt a little about four months ago. That day when I was going home, I realized I didn't  even know my way home. Everything looked different; the road, colors of buildings, names of shops, even the waakye seller next to the street looked very beautiful. I was able to see those things because for the first time I was ready not to just look but watch and assess. Glance by glance, I stare at every little thing by the roadside which I would have ignored if I had my phone in my hands. When the car got stuck in traffic, this time I had the chance to watch. I took time to read the inscriptions in front of the shops, had time to interact with other passengers in little conversation and enjoy the wind that splashed on my face as the car moved. Life is beautiful when we surrender our time to the happenings around us. What matters is what's in front of you, what actually matters is the person breathing next to you. 

These smart things were created for our usage but the way I see it, we are rather being used. We would only sleep when we think Facebook is boring. We prefer opening Facebook to opening a textbook. We run from the rain not because we would get wet but because the phone in our pockets will get socked and spoilt. There's grace in nature, our environment is trying to communicate with us each passing moment, but we are so involved with our gadgets that we fail to heed. Let's give the one next to us a chance to make a difference.

Pick a day to take a break from your little screens. Put the world on your phone on hold for a day so you could activate the world on the outside. Say hello to the guy you just walked by and he will bless you with a smile, a real smile not a smiley from a phone. It doesn't hurt not to reply a message instantly, after all man has been able to survive the periods when replies to letters took months to reach. Spend real time with family, look into their eyes and appreciate what they've been through during the day. Share your stories with the one next to you, they only can empathize with you and offer an opened arms to run into. Life is meant to be enjoyed this way, the smart way. 

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