I admit I am a late bloomer when it comes to the Gilmore Girls. I didn’t see the show until I was in my 30s and naturally I binged watched it in my time before children. Lauren Graham, who plays the mom on the show recently wrote a book called Talking As Fast As I Can. It’s a short and inspiring read if you are interested and where this quote about looking up originated from.
Buy or Download Talking Fast I Can:
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Although this is a quote that can fastly be read and easily ignored, I see it as an all-powerful message for today’s ever-connected society.
Today we are looking down more than ever before. It’s really sad actually. We have so much communication, yet have no clue how to communicate. When I worked in a high school and students were texting under their desks I would ask them, “What’s so interesting about your crouch?” to call attention to the inattention. I still laugh at that now!
Looking down all the time not only leaves you missing out on the world around you but also puts yourself and others in danger. Let’s look at this concept in the realm of safety and on a more holistic level from a place of reflection and mindfulness.
Here. We. Go!
Looking up for Safety:
Diving into the quote literally, “not looking up” the statistics are insane for driving alone. The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 2,841 lives in 2018 alone. Among those killed: 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians, and 77 bicyclists. Damn.
I know 2 people who were hit by someone texting while driving…one survived and one did not and they weren’t even on their phones! Safety first, the text or call can wait. You can easily set an away message on your phone while you drive. On an apple phone, you can do this through the “do not disturb” feature and set it to auto-activate when your car’s Bluetooth is on.
For more information on apps that help with car safety (especially if you have teen drivers) check these out:
Looking up for Reality:
Now moving onto our holistic side here…remember the last time you sat at a restaurant? Yeah I know, it feels like forever now! When you imagine yourself there, how many people around you were on their phones? …or were you on your phone and couldn’t notice? That’s what I’m talking about!
People are so connected online that IRL becomes forgotten and there’s a ton that is missed. If you go for a walk this week, I want to challenge you to go without your phone or if you must, to keep your phone in your pocket the entire time. See what you notice…it will surprise you.
Especially if you are with others or having a meal, put the phone away so you can connect and enjoy your food. Be mindful of your surroundings. Take them in and look at the world with a sense of wonder that you cannot get through a picture on the internet.
Feel the sun on your skin, watch wildlife, taste your delicious sushi. Notice the colors of the sunset or the way your partner looks at you lovingly. These simple pleasures we are missing out on by being over-connected and ignoring the beautiful and amazing world around us.
So the next time you find yourself looking down at your phone, look up and take a moment to breathe and take in the world around you. Trust me, the reality is worth it!