Last night I went to the Pearl Jam concert in Baltimore with a few friends. It was by far one of the best concerts I have ever been to in my life, even though we had nose bleed seats. Eddie Vedder is one of the coolest guys on this planet even at the ripe old age of 48. He may possibly be the only man aside from Johnny Depp who can don skinny jeans with hiking boots and not look like a huge dork. They rocked our faces off with their 2 hour and 40 minute set. We all left that show feeling deep satisfaction at FINALLY getting to see Pearl Jam in concert.
While watching the show from our extremely high seats, we couldn't help but notice how many people were on their cell phones taking pictures, making videos, shopping, surfing the internet, reading sports center. You read that right... shopping and reading Sports Center. Directly in front of us 4 out of 5 people we could see were on their cell phones. 2 were reading Sports Center, one was looking at a handbag online, and one was reading an autobiography on his phone.
I wanted to kick these people in the throat for this. Come on, people! You're at a Pearl Jam show!!!! You don't go to the show of one of the best bands ever (any band for that matter) and stay on your phone the whole time, completely disconnected from the people and the experience that is going on around you. It diminishes the experience.
I am guilty of being on my phone a lot, but I am also able to put my phone down and experience my surroundings, fully engaged with the people around me. I'm challenging you to start putting your phone down more and be fully engaged with the people around you. People have lived thousands of years without cell phones and without being fully connected to every facet of life 24/7. Waiting an hour to check your phone while you have dinner with your loved ones will not kill you... and if someone died, welp... they died, that extra hour won't bring them back.
That devil Facebook has further removed people from having to socialize in real time with the people who actually care enough about them to take time from their day to come see them. Instead we give them half of our attention while we browse Facebook, reading the status updates from people that we knew in elementary school, who in the grand scheme of things do not actually matter in our lives. If they did, they would be at that table having dinner with you, not just a mundane, dull status update about what they made their kids for dinner that night, followed by their announcement that they are now going to bed.
Life moves so fast, we all need to slow down and look around us. Look at
the people we love and that love us, take the time to listen to what is going on in
their lives, be thankful for the love that surrounds us. Time is finite, to give your time to someone is the greatest gift you can ever give someone. Let's not cheapen that gift by giving them your time but not your attention. I assure you, your elementary school friend's status update about her early bed time and 977 pictures of her drooling child will still be there when you have time alone. I recommend reading Facebook while you're taking a shit, those two activities seem to be related to me.
30 days, that is the challenge. 30 days of not answering your phone when you are with other people. 30 days of not browsing Facebook while you are at the dinner table. 30 days of no texting while driving (this one is going to be difficult for me). 30 days of being fully engaged with your surroundings, experiences, and people!
Amanda signing off.