Shrinking Our World

The average TV screen size increased from 14 inches to 17, 19 and then 21 inches in the 1970’s. As I write this we could use 42” inches for the average flat screen TV size, with actual viewing dimensions of 36.61”x 20.59”.  The iPad Air is 6.6”x 9.4” and, arguably, the most common viewing screen today, the iPhone, is 4.87”x 2.31”. And the point?  This is where most faces are buried throughout the day, literally shrinking the world around them.

Ever drive through a development at night and see that common blue hue through the window?  Ever watch people standing in line, or waiting at a coffee shop? Ever see people waiting at the salon, car wash, service station, or doctor’s waiting room.  How about just walking through the mall or down the street? Sometimes, you’ll even see this with people driving! Yep – they’re shrinking their world, in some cases endangering themselves and others!

Once I was sitting in a coffee shop and waiting just a moment for my guest to arrive. As soon as I sat down, I picked up my iPhone (habit!!!!!!!) and then set it down.  What do I need to look at that I hadn’t already seen five silly minutes ago?  I’m changing this habit.  I have no issue with these fantastic devices, but it’s such a slippery slope.  While they offer great insight and value in so many ways, they also allow us to shut out the beauty of the world around us, not to mention the freedom of letting our minds just drift, purposefully or not.  We’re always occupied nowadays because there’s always an app or email or game or something to “do” that lives in that tiny little world. 

So I did set my iPhone down and I simply looked around – at the people, the building, the world outside, the cars, anything but my phone.  At home, I’m doing this more as well.  I’m opting to put it down and invest in the people and the world around me. 

Do you want a bigger world? Put down the phone and look around! I challenge you to do this consistently for one full week. That doesn’t mean not to use it. It just means don’t substitute it for what the world around you has to offer.  You have to put it down to discover what’s beyond that screen. As wonderful as that iPhone or Android is, the world outside its screen is so much better. 

Ironically I wrote this on a 14” laptop screen.Time to step away!