Look Up

On February 14, 2023 a 19-year-old Freshman at Auburn University made the conscious effort to place technology out of reach and “Look Up.” The result of that intentional action was life changing. For the first time in her seven months at the University, she engaged in a way that fostered new relationships, opened doors (in the not so literal sense) and calmed her anxious mind. She shared her story with me during an evening conversation and it inspired me to give the seemingly easy task a try. Perhaps I misjudged “easy” since holding a phone is as natural as having the hand that is holding it travel as a part of my body. However, if my 19-year-old daughter could do it, then I could certainly make a whole heart effort.

Each of us is well aware that we spend more time looking down than up. Our relationship with our phone has robbed our lives of personal interaction. How often are dinner tables staged with bodies that pose in front of the phone and conversation is locked down much like I-95 in DC. Our lives are being lived through the device we are holding depriving us from living in the moment with intention and ensuring our relationships on social media are anything but social.

Remember the days of your childhood when you were never at home. You’d spend the day roaming the neighborhood on your bike and would wear holes in your shoes from your adventures. Your friendships were built in the clubhouse your father designed in the woods.
We’ve replaced those experiences with placing an I-pad in front of young children, teaching them that lack of personal communication is the norm.

I want to return to the days when looking up was the norm. I want to take in my surroundings and make a connection. I want to enjoy the time I have with just one and not feel the need to share it with hundreds. I want to give my life intention and rely less on the device in my hand for relevancy. I want to live with no regret, as I know my time is limited.

When you’re so busy looking down, you simply don’t know the opportunity that you have missed. Disconnect from the need to be heard and defined by the “social” in the cloud. Live life the real way. LOOK UP!

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