BuriedToday’s Word: ‘Buried’ as in… if my nose is always buried in my phone I’ll probably miss the sunrise.

The baristas looked up when I walked in. Kacie, pulling shots like a pro, said “Good morning!” and Billy said, “Hey Paul, what’s up!” It’s become a near-daily ritual: swooping dark roast at the Caffeinated Palace. I greeted them back as I placed my order, scanned the app, then stepped aside to wait for the “sweet and intense” dark roast to appear.

My instinct, in this next moment is to look at my phone. I’m not looking for anything specific, and I don’t need any particular information. But the grooves I’ve cut, the behaviors I’ve learned lead me through a series of “gestures” that are now automatic.

With minutes to kill, extra moments to pass, and without any thought, my phone comes out, if it’s not out already. And with a tap, a flick, a swipe, a click, a pinch, or spread, or a drag, I’m pretty much lost in time that I’ll never have back. Much to my detriment.

But something different happened in this next moment.

I made the conscious decision to put my phone down, look up and notice the room; really notice the room. There were only four other customers in the store, and for one brief moment all five of us were buried in our technology. That’s a lot of tapping, flicking, swiping, clicking, pinching, spreading and dragging going on.

But as I looked around I began to notice other things: art on the walls, soft lighting in the corner next to a leather chairs, the smile on Kacie’s face, Billy’s ability to dance between the drive-through window and the Pick-Up counter.

And then there was the really beautiful sunrise going on outside.

The challenge I want to embrace is to be less a tool of my technology and more a student of my surroundings.

If my nose is always buried in my phone, and if my head is always down, I’ll never notice what’s going on all around me all the time.

And I’ll probably miss that sunrise.


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