The Smartphone Culture

I walk into the metro rail and I stand by the window. I stopped sitting in one of the seats for I don’t know how long, a decision I am proud of! I am more interested and excited about meeting someone new and starting a conversation. I see a cute, beautifully dressed girl sitting near me but I hesitate to talk to her. I look around my coach and see there are considerably few people today on their smartphones, reading their Facebook Newsfeed, texting or listening to their headphones. I am happily surprised! I can’t help but share this information with the girl. She gives a beautiful smile, looks around, and concurs.

We start talking to each other and have a wonderful, cheerful conversation. My station arrives and I leave, bidding her goodbye. I’m happy I went ahead and initiated talking to her; I would have regretted if I hadn’t!

That’s my mindset now. I am always ready for a new conversation. You never know where it may lead you! I have made a rule for myself: To NOT use my smartphone when I am on public transport, and staying away from listening to audiobooks on Audible (which is hard to resist!). Once I have started applying this rule, I have realized that conversations with people I’ve never met, conjure up naturally. Some eye contact, smiling, saying ‘Hi!’ and who knows a great conversation might be on the menu.

These opportunities to initiate conversations are all around us, but still, we are never aware of them. Whether people are doing groceries, shopping or working in a coffee shop, a majority of them are not open to starting a conversation. I like people watching, and unfortunately, a lot of people are absorbed in the rectangular vacuum of their smartphones. I am guilty of this as well and occasionally see myself anchored to mine,  but when I become aware of this folly, I put this ostensibly innocuous distracting device back in my pocket.

Smartphones are great for us and if rightly used, they are amazing gadgets in simplifying our daily tasks and our lives. But people are more drawn to being social in the virtual reality than the actual reality. I’m sure there are people that you see on a daily basis but have never talked to. We stop ourselves from doing that, and the sad truth is that we don’t want to expand our reality. We don’t want to step outside our comfort zone. When we do this, life happens to us, and not the other way around.

Today, make a promise to yourself to become unglued to your smartphone. Never underestimate the power of having a random, unexpected conversation. It may end up changing your perspective or maybe give you some valuable information that might alter the course of life, or vice-versa.

A quick action step would be to put that smartphone and those headphones in your pocket where they rightly belong. Restrict their use, and a conversation will be arriving soon!


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