July 21, 2015
The Paradox of Being Plugged In
Some of life’s most precious moments can pass you by while you are staring at your phone. With multiple social media channels available at our fingertips, sharing, chatting, tweeting and engaging with others has become second nature for many and is hard to turn off. Smartphone in hand, people now seem to spend more time snapping the perfect photo for their Instagram or filming for their Snapchat stories than enjoying real-time events and experiences. This addiction to technology is becoming increasingly widespread – especially among millennials. Photo courtesy of Social Times. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for using these social platforms to see the world from new perspectives, and I’m not one to pass up a golden Snapchat opportunity. But at a certain point, these channels can detract from real life experiences and hinder genuine interactions. YouTube guru and American film director Casey Neistat recently developed an application that helps you enjoy life’s moments through your own eyes and your phone, simultaneously. The social sharing application Beme lets you record moments in your daily life through motion activation rather than by having to stare at your screen and hold down a record button. This function could be extremely useful at concerts – just press your phone against your chest to activate the motion sensor and start recording. The platform also includes similar features to Snapchat, where each moment is fleeting and can only be seen once. A crucial point of differentiation is the reaction feature, which, unlike favorites and likes, allows people to respond to moments with a selfie. Photo courtesy of Mashable. The paradox of being “plugged in” versus “living in the moment” is one with which many people (including myself) struggle. How many times have you been at dinner and checked your phone for that text message from a friend? Or been waiting in line and scrolling through your phone to avoid an awkward wait time or encounter with a stranger? Forward-thinking brands such as Ringly have come up with wearable solutions to allow you to focus on what is most important. The emerging brand’s slogan: “Put your phone away and enjoy the moment.” Ringly’s “smart ring” will vibrate when you receive a text message or an email so you can leave your phone in your purse. Photo from Ringly website. While it may be nearly impossible to unplug completely, it’s important to look up from your phone every once in a while and enjoy life through your own eyes rather than your screen.