Smartphone are great – they contain apps that increase work productivity, that decrease the feeling of loneliness through social media, that play music and videos and show inspiring pictures. But oftentimes they stand between you and the world around you. The world is a beautiful place, and you should take some time every once in a while to just perceive it. You might miss a lot of cool events and sights when staring at your phone all day, including some of the things below:
1. You’re missing your own thoughts when you have nothing prompting them.
Benjamin Franklin used to schedule dedicated “Free Association” time – time in which he did nothing and just let his thoughts move free-flow. He would often come up with some of his best ideas during this time. Let your mind wander, and you might stumble across the idea for the next bifocals, as Franklin did.
2. You’re missing the leaves in fall and the first snow in winter.
The color of the leaves in fall and the texture of the first snow are things that will never be truly captured in an Instagram picture, so just soak it in for your own memories.
3. You’re missing neighborhood artwork.
You probably walk the same path home every day, but have you ever truly seen it? Quit checking Facebook as you walk – there might be a mural on the grocery store down the street that you have never seen because you were on your smartphone.
4. You’re missing talented street performers.
You just walk past Chicago’s Bucket Boys or the Naked Cowboy on Times Square because you were on Tinder. Look up and enjoy the sights!
5. You’re missing how quiet it is on the train on Monday mornings.
People on the way to work are often just waking up, but there is no other occasion in which you can cram several hundred strangers into a metal box and have them remain calm and silent. Enjoy it.
6. You’re missing a block or a turn and goes in the wrong direction.
You may be using Google Maps to get where you are going, but when you switch to check Twitter, you missed your turn. Look up every once in a while to make sure you are on track!
7. You’re missing the “Don’t Walk” sign at a cross walk.
Whoops, you almost got hit by a car while you were responding to that text. Again. You can easily avoid that by taking your eyes of your phone when you cross the street.
8. You’re missing how much fun dogs have when they go on walks.
I wish I loved anything as much as any dog loves going for a walk. Stop and pet the frisky guy as he goes past you, it will make both of you happy.
9. You’re missing how much fun kids have when they’re playing.
Children’s laughter is pretty unique, and it’s pretty easy to elicit. Remember when it took only a game of tag to make you laugh, and not a meme?
10. You’re missing how good your food actually tastes – not just how it looks.
Sure you can take a picture of your meal, but after you do, make sure you remember how it tastes. Don’t troll for comments and likes while eating. Your food will taste better.
11. You’re missing the pure musical energy at a major concert.
I get that part of the experience of going to a concert is sharing your coolness for doing so, but putting a third-rate, shaky YouTube clip of a B-Side of the band on your Twitter account is not worth as much as just soaking in the ambiance. Dance your ass off instead.
12. You’re missing the cute stranger at the end of the bar.
You can either check Tinder or OkCupid at the bar or talk to real people at the bar. One has been working for eons, and the other was invented in the last ten years by profit-hungry companies. Go old school and talk to new people.
13. You’re missing the end of a real joke.
Your date is making an effort to impress you, and you missed the funny part of a joke because of an email. No wonder no one tells jokes anymore.
14. You’re missing how your child’s day was.
Instead of telling the world via a status update about your workday, ask your kid how his day was. It will make a difference.