What happens in the jungle, stays in the jungle

rainforest-diana-nitescu

I woke up this morning, made myself a cup of coffee and grabbed my phone. It has become second nature to reach for the phone these days. Luckily, I have not become “zombified” by my technology, but this brings up a great point. We live in a world where phones and computers run our lives. We depend on them for everything! Directions? Google it. Connection? Facebook him/her. Exciting event? Tweet it! Cool photo? Instagram it. It’s funny that these words have morphed into verbs. Can you imagine telling someone 20 years ago, “I Tweeted?!?!” Taken out of context, it almost sounds dirty. I think I just got a good laugh out of it.

I love social media. Our world is better because we can connect with our friends, our families and even people we have never met before… people we would never meet otherwise. Information is readily available at our fingertips, and who can complain about that?!?! We can find directions easily, sign up for cool outings and activities, pay bills, find inspiration and stalk people. Wait, that last one is a big no-no! 🙂

Leaving all jokes aside, we live in a pretty wonderful time. We can use social media to create positive change and to inspire one another. I do, however, find the need to disconnect once in a while… don’t you?!?! It sometimes becomes a bit of an obligation to notify everyone about everything, and quite frankly, who wants to hear about the indigestion pizza gave me last night; or how long the line is at the grocery store. I see some incredibly random posts sometimes and wonder, is that person feeling lonely at this moment? I don’t laugh, indigestion is no laughing matter. I feel for them… Maybe they just need a cyber hug. Or some Mylanta. Either way, I refrain from responding. I put my phone down and just think. I think of the most peaceful time in my life.

This brings me to a cool yet stressful incident I experienced while visiting Central America with my cell phone. Yes, we went together. We ate together, traveled together, God knows, we even slept together. It was an exclusive relationship. Until one day, at a friend’s house party, some sexy and exotic women stole my love. I don’t blame them in the least bit. Quite frankly, I thank them. It had become a dysfunctional relationship, to say the least.

For two days straight, I lamented. Even food didn’t taste so good. Talk about a bad case of indigestion. Where was my shiny red cell phone? I felt cut off from the world. No texting, no news feeds, I felt abandoned… people around me thought I was acting out, yet they offered their condolences. ‘Could no one help?!?!’

I accepted that my love affair was over. My phone was gone and this incident had forced me into a new way of thinking. What to do?! Where to go?! I mean, there were miles and miles of beach, rain forest and jungle surrounding me. Surely I could find something to fill the aching gap in my heart.

I took some surf lessons, I went zip lining, I ate good food and laughed a lot. The stories of the people around me were real. They didn’t come from a newsfeed, they didn’t even get recorded somewhere. It was fleeting, real and it was beautiful. I felt happy. I felt present. Everything that I saw, heard and experienced, happened there, in those moments. I couldn’t take any of it with me, except the lesson.

What am I suggesting? No, don’t throw your cell phones in the trash bin. We can’t pretend to live in a cave. Technology is awesome. Use it in a positive way. Share your thoughts, post your pics, inspire and make people laugh. However, find a time throughout your day when you can turn everything off and pay attention to what’s around you. Don’t tweet it, don’t post it, don’t photograph it. Instead, see it, hear it, feel it, smell it, taste it. When you’ve taken it all in, exhale and let it go. It’s not so easy to fly to the rainforest on a daily basis, but we can certainly create that quiet space within ourselves.

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