Focus on the people with you
In Taiwan, there’s a phrase, di tou zu (低头族), which literally translates to “a group of people with their heads bowed down”. It was coined in reference to a social phenomenon where we spend a large amount of our time with our heads bowed down towards our mobile devices.
You don’t have to travel far to get a taste of this. Take a ride on the train, enter a cafe or restaurant, or even just take a short walk near your home, and chances are you will encounter people with their heads bowed down, looking at their phones and completely oblivious to their surroundings, and perhaps worse of all, their partners.
A recent survey showed that 70 percent of smartphone users check their devices within an hour of getting up, and 56 percent said they check their devices an hour before going to bed. More worryingly, 51 percent of users said they would check their smartphones continuously even while on vacation, and 44 percent also said that they would experience anxiety if they lost their phone and couldn’t replace it for a week.
Isn’t it ironic that in the presence of friends we choose to keep to ourselves and instead venture onto social media platforms to seek interaction? Isn’t it also ironic that instead of speaking to each other on dinner dates, we are obsessed with taking the best photos of our food so that we can share with others on Facebook or Instagram?
For 2016, let’s begin by simply putting away our phones when we are together with friends or family. Stop worrying about catching up on Facebook updates; they will always be there for you. Stop taking pictures of food and start enjoying them. Stop tweeting and sharing about what cool stuff you are doing and with whom and just soak in the moment. Forget about chasing Facebook likes, retweets and new Instagram followers and just focus on the people with you and live in the moment. Trust us, you’ll be all the happier for it.