My Two Cents on “Looking Up”

Think Kit 2 cents

We live in a social world.

And I’ll be the first to admit that I love social media. I love sharing stories. I love posting pictures of my adorable son. I love connecting with people that I haven’t seen in years. I love using Facebook to instantly connect with family and friends across the state, country, and even world!

But I get sad seeing so many people forgetting to live in the moment.

I recently went to San Francisco for work. As I traveled into the airport, walked into hotel rooms, and even went to dinner – I was amazed at how many people were forgetting to look up.

They were forgetting to be in the moment.

They didn’t smile at each other.

They didn’t share stories or ask questions about life.

“Where are you from?

“What do you do?”

“What brings you here?”

People just didn’t seem to care. They only wanted to find the next post to like on Facebook. The next story to re-tweet on Twitter. The next picture to like on Instagram.

I vividly remember Day 1 of the Conference. I was running late because I got lost (typical) and couldn’t find the right hotel. I was also running late because I found a coffee shop on a corner and couldn’t shake my craving for a pumpkin spice latte.

I walked into the room late, and I was a bit worried there wouldn’t be any seats left. When I looked into the conference room, I was amazed (and saddened) by the silence.

Everyone was looking down on their phones.

No one was talking.

I walked in and only a few people looked up from their phones.

No smiles.

No welcoming gestures.

No inviting people.

Just a room full of people absorbed into their phones and missing out a making a new best friend. They were missing out on my exciting news – I had just met BONO!

IMG_0729

Meeting “Bono.”

Who cares if it was a fake Bono??! I spent five hours of my life thinking I had just met the REAL Bono. And no one can take that away from me!

But that moment in San Fran reminded me of a video I watched earlier this year – see below:

I think the video is a little harsh at some points. And I don’t agree with the entire message.

But I do think all too often we’re failing to live in the moment.

We are too busy stalking Facebook.

We are too busy trying to capture the perfect picture that we don’t enjoy that perfect moment.

We are too busy surfing the web.

We are too busy re-planning our wedding on Pinterest (guilty as charged)!!!

A few days later, I went to a Bruno Mars concert. Despite the beers I drank, I remember the ENTIRE experience.

I remember his songs.

His outfit.

His super sexy dance moves.

His band.

The people around me.

I even photobombed a HUGE group selfie.

Once they showed me this picture, I said., "OMG my facial expression looks like I just farted!" And thus, a new hashtag was born: #fartforce

Once they showed me this picture, I said., “OMG my facial expression looks like I just farted!” And thus, a new hashtag was born: #fartforce

And I remember everything because I wasn’t glued to my phone the entire time!

I got really sad when I saw so many people who were busy trying to record a shitty video from the concert.

Or snap a blurry picture of Bruno shaking it!

I looked up and just saw a SEA of cell phones. And it broke my heart. These people should be dancing and drinking and singing along.

Bruno Mars even called out the crowd at one point. He said he was disappointed there wasn’t more dancing and grinding.

He said, “Alright, alright. I know what to do now….Ladies, put your phones down. I said ladies put your cell phones down….”

Well done, Bruno. Well done.

Before the concert: super cute and pretty. After the concert: super sweaty and happy.

Before the concert: super cute and pretty. After the concert: super sweaty, happy, and in love with Bruno Mars.

This evening, I went into the ER this evening to get Cooper’s stitches taken out. I didn’t ignore him to play on my phone or text my friends. In fact, I put my phone in my pocket after I snapped a super cute picture of him.

Because he's just the cutest and happiest little nugget ever!

Because he’s just the cutest and happiest little nugget ever!

I ended up making friends with a mother who brought her daughter in after an iPad fell on her daughter’s face. The little girl, who was happy and running all around, had a huge knot on her forehead.

Cooper also started walking around the lobby and wasted no time flirting with one of the pretty, younger gals in the lobby.

“He’s so cute!” she said.

“Thank you so much!” I said. “He just learned how to walk a month ago, so he’s pretty proud and loves exploring. He just needs to make sure everyone here feels welcome and happy.”

She then started sharing her exciting news- she’ll be a first time mom next year! She told me she was SUPER nervous, but I told her that’s normal. I assured her that she’ll be amazing and parenthood is a wonderful blessing.

“I’m just not qualified to be a parent,” she said and then laughed nervously.

“Oh, girl!” I said. “Don’t you even worry. Most people aren’t. It’s all a learning experience and if someone says they’re an expert, they’re lying.”

She laughed and I hope that made her feel a little better. A few moments later Coop got called back and we walked to the door – saying goodbye to all  7 of our new friends.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t take pictures, record videos, or share details about your life on social media (clearly, I do all of those things). But I’m just encouraging you to put your phone down while you’re eating dinner with your family and friends.

Talk to that stranger on your commute.

Make a friend in the emergency room.

Snap a picture of the beautiful view you’ve found.

But then put your phone away so you can enjoy that moment.

Close your eyes.

Feel the breathe as it comes across your face.

Smell the air.

Feel the sun hit your body and warm your soul.

Listen to the conversations next to you.

Be alive.

Be in the moment.

If I close my eyes hard enough and let my mind drift away, I can still see that beautiful San Francisco view.

IMG_0704

I can remember the smell of the ocean, the sound of the waves, and the voices of the young teenagers in front of me – anxious to see Alactaz Island for the first time.

“So look up from your phone, shut down the display, take in your surroundings, and make the most of today. Just one real connection is all it can take to show you the difference that being there can make.”

Much love,

Ashley

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