So the content on your mobile phone is more interesting than me
A friend of mine recently said something wonderful to a close friend, who was busy playing with a phone instead of engaging with the conversation.
“If you look at your phone and I am boring, then I will also look at my phone because you are as boring as me!” Her comment was a kind of flashpoint for a cold war in social relations.
Surely most of us experience similar heart-breaks every day?
Most of the time, we solve the situation by turning to our own mobile phones, as if we are trying to achieve equality.
We are alone in a one-person crowd, on our sofas at homes, under the dim lights of restaurants and on long bus rides. We are alone with our “friends” on our mobile phones, some we know, some we do not.
I do not want my son to value himself according to the amount of likes he receives for a photo he posts on social media.
Likes, followers, comments and clicks.
It completely changes your mood when someone writes a bad comment. It does not matter whether you know them or not. We are all connected to one another. So it does not matter who writes the comment.
A global emotional network is the basis of our inter-connection.
I was recently struck by some thoughts as I browsed Instagram. Am I really that interested in so many people’s stories? Time is flying and what exactly am I doing with my life?
What is being loaded into my memory? Where will this lead me?
Instead of examining other people’s lives, would I not be better off looking at my own life, making a cup of tea, and putting pen to paper?
Instead of following you and your story on social media, what if I came to you and we went for a walk together or beat some dough in your kitchen to make bread together?
Instead of reading a single quotation, would it not be better to have the patience to finish the whole book and reflect on the many beautiful passages?
I do not know if these ideas sound romantic to you, but last week, as I listened to the speech of the German anthroposophical Doctor Olaf Koob, I was astonished by the differences between the drawings of five-year-old children who watched television and those who did not.
The drawings above belong to those five-year-old children who do not watch television and those below belong to those who watch three hours of television per day.
I will leave it to you to evaluate this difference.
The television is said to create a “visual obesity,” just like a mobile phone screen.
We sit and consume so many images all day long.
Normally, human nature would ask us to react to a visual experience.
But in front of the screen, even though we witness thousands of things, we remain still.
I wrote this article to distance you from the mobile phone this week.
When I say you, I actually mean myself.
I will focus on my own story this week. I will not look at my mobile phone but instead look around me and most importantly, I will look at those who are next to me.