Have you ever noticed how distracted people are these days? In stores, restaurants and walking down the street you are more likely to see someone talking on their phone than not. Passersby bump into each other, let doors shut on the person behind them and even talk on the phone when checking out in a store. It's not just phones either. In coffee shops folks are networking on ipads and texting, while watching the latest youtube and listening to their ipods. Yep, people are pretty darn distracted.
Today my husband left his Blackberry at home. He dropped me off for a doctor's appointment and I let him keep my phone in case I needed to reach him. After my appointment I found that I had time to sit and really observe people. My hands weren't furiously texting my test results to concerned friends and family. Without my Blackberry to distract me I found myself people watching. Remember people watching? What I found was that with the cell phone absent I was more human.
I smiled at each person who passed me and made eye contact. I said good morning to a few elderly people coming in for who knows what kind of tests or news. I made silly faces at a sad child being pushed out in a wheelchair. I wouldn't have had any of these moments if I'd had my cell phone. More importantly, the people around me wouldn't have had those experiences either. The power of a simple smile, a nod and a hello, the hospitality of eye contact may have brightened someone's otherwise dark day. I know my day was brightened. I think I'll leave the cell phone in my bag a little more often.