Father’s Day was a wonderful occasion to enjoy lunch with family at my dad’s favorite restaurant. Near the end of the meal, a funny observation was made. Of the eight people and three generations at the table, only one person looked at their phone while we were together. Do you think it was the 18 or 24 year old? No, it was the anxious owner of his first smart phone – my 81-year old dad! Having recently converted to a “Mac”, my father is courageously venturing into tech turf long avoided. I am proud of him, it’s those under-81 that bother me!
At the gym, I watch people squeeze workouts in between or during text messages, emails, and phone conversations. I walk home and dodge people on the sidewalk or street, because their heads are buried in their phones. I get on the road and have to be wary of drivers gazing down at mobile devices. At restaurants, I observe couples and even families not speaking to each other, because each person is consumed with whatever is more interesting on their phone. We’ve got a problem!
Hours spent in mindless sedentary activity on a phone takes a toll, not only on relationships, but also on our bodies. What are human beings going to look like 50 years from now? Will a bent neck, slumping shoulders, squinting eyes, and arthritic hands, distinguish us from more upright mammals? These devices, considered an extremity of the body by many people, pose a health hazard. There is a simple antidote to combat this pernicious plague - the practice of “presence.” Dedicate a given amount of time to be free of your phone and devote yourself fully to whatever you choose to do during that time. It will transform you and the world around you.
M. J. White is the creator of “Lean Wellness”, a radically different approach to transforming health and well-being at work. It is inspired and supported from the top-down, but driven from the bottom-up by continuous learning and improvement. The result is a thriving work environment where people pursue becoming their best selves. To learn more, visit the website at: www.leanwellness.us or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.