Due to modern technologies, people are no longer living in the moment. I, too, am a victim of a modern technology, the smartphone. Ever since getting a smartphone, I’ve always found myself saying things on the family dinner table like, “Wait, what were you saying?” “Sorry, could you repeat what you were saying just now?” “Sorry, wait, what?” So many miscommunications and all I can say is that having a smartphone was the cause of it. I know that I’m not the only victim, as I’ve taken some time to actually observe the whole restaurant that I was dining in today. Even though everyone was dining with their close ones, every one of them were living in their own world using their smartphones instead of bonding with one another. If I recalled correctly, restaurants used to be a more vibrant and lively place to dine in before smartphones were created, but look at where we are now?
When team Singapore swimming had half a day off during our staging camp in Phuket for team bonding, we went out for a team dinner. During dinner time I told our team, “Guys, let’s try something new for today, leave our phones on the table, and live in the moment, let’s see who gives in first.” Everyone thought that was a good idea as we would actually be able to leave technology aside and finally bond more. But within 5 minutes, one of the swimmers went, “Wait!!! I have an emergency that I need to attend to, so I’ll need to use my phone.” And soon after, a few other swimmers also had some ‘emergencies’ that they needed to attend to. So, the rule of no phones was soon uplifted. That just goes to show how dependent we are on technology nowadays. It really makes me feel ashamed of how technology has changed us.
We are not living in the present
One of life’s greatest moments is actually our ability to focus on the present.
I know smartphones made work more efficient by monitoring appointments, setting reminders, taking pictures, recording videos, watching tv, getting news and entertainment, the list goes on and on. But has it ever struck you that it has taken away one of the most essential thing in life, living in the moment of time?
To me, life is about living in the present. But often, we are unable to achieve that as we allow ourselves to let time slip away. Instead of worrying about the present, we worry about the future. When we’re at work, we think about what we are going to do when we get home. But when we reach home, we worry about what’s in store for us when we go back to work, ironic, isn’t it?
So, why can’t we just tune our mind back on track and worry about what’s in the present and ignore what’s in the past or future?
My challenge for everyone in 2014
From my personal experience, I’ve found that the best family meals I had were those where I left my smartphone charging in the room. Meals were uninterrupted and through those meals, we were able to really spend quality family time. Things like communicating on how we were coping with the stresses that life has brought us, how our day was, and helping each other out if there’s anything necessary. That’s what a true family should be like. Endless conversations like these can really create a really strong bond in the family.
So that being said, my challenge for myself and everyone in 2014, is to not allow yourselves to be a victim of smartphones, be in control of yourself! What I would suggest is to set a family rule that during meal times, no using of phones should be allowed. That way, there would definitely be more quality family time spent!
Meetings, schedules and work, they all can wait. BUT FAMILY COMES FIRST!
So, what are you waiting for? Drop your phones, and start now before it’s too late! Trust me, appreciate everything before it’s gone, and always live in the moment! Hope I inspired you to change! Good luck to everyone. 🙂
“A love of a family is life’s greatest blessing”
Photo back in 2009 when I still a kid, wow time really flies…
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