Sometimes it’s amazing to think about all the ways technology like smartphones have forever changed our lives. We can snap photos, record videos, send and receive emails and texts, and more. We can even keep up with what everyone else seems to be doing via social media too. And while it’s great to have so many ways to observe, keep up, and communicate with others, there’s just something refreshing about pulling back on scrolling through our lives and taking the time to be present and fully aware of what’s happening all around us.
While there’s nothing wrong with scrolling through your smartphone, there are so many other benefits to unplugging and enjoying the gift of the present. First, you’ll avoid FOMO (fear of missing out). If you’re scrolling through your phone and end up scrolling through social media, you’ll probably see a ton of other people you know and follow doing a lot of fun and different things – some of which you weren’t invited or included in, which can be triggering. You might feel like you’re missing out because you’re not doing what other people are doing. And so, if you’re not scrolling and are instead present and enjoying your own life, you’ll realize that FOMO won’t be on your radar because you’ll be focusing on what’s happening right in front of you instead of thinking about what you think you’re missing out on.
Secondly, you’ll be protecting your mental health. Aimless or excessive scrolling isn’t good for anyone. It’s time-consuming, draining, and can pull you away from the incredible life you’re fortunate to have. Being present in your own life and aware of the importance of protecting your mental health takes intentionality. And one of the first ways you can set this intention is by choosing not to scroll when life is happening. This means that there’ll be times when it’s probably best to put your phone away while you’re spending time with your loved ones, watching a movie, cuddling with your pet, or listening to a friend who’s going through a difficult time. Think about how it would make you feel if you were trying to spend time with someone or talking to them and they were continually scrolling through their phone.
Finally, choosing to scroll less and live more increases your chances of a beautiful thing called serendipity. You never know who’ll you’ll meet or what can happen when you’re present and not scrolling through your phone. There are people, opportunities, and moments you haven’t even experienced yet that are divinely awaiting you but may be delayed or worse, missed because you were paying more attention to scrolling through your phone than being an active participant in your life. Serendipitous moments are incredible, but can also be very fleeting at the same time. When you’re present and taking in what’s happening right in front of you, you may meet different people and be presented with extraordinary opportunities that can change your life in some cool and exciting ways.
So as you move throughout this day, I challenge you to put your phone away, step away from the scrolling—at least for a little while—and take in all the wonderful things happening around you. Your life is happening. And it’s time you show up and actively enjoy it.