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Have you ever seen the hit CBS show How I Met Your Mother? It’s literally nine years of a father telling his kids the long, hilarious, and risqué stories of how he finally met their mother.
One day I will sit my kids down, Ted Mosby style, and tell them a story.
They will ask what life was like in 2014 and I will smile. I will tell them of all the beautiful things I experienced in my day, and how grand life was in the early 2000’s. I will tell them about Google & the Kindle, how every piece of information you ever needed was at your fingertips for the first time.
I will tell them how good I didn’t know I had it, until I was older. They will laugh as I talk about laptops, cords, and cars that ran on gasoline. I will go on about Barack Obama and how I saw history happen as the first black president took office. And with sincerity in my voice, I will tell them I remembered where I was and what I was doing on September 11th, 2001. I will smile as I describe some of the best years of my life.
[stag_intro]And lastly, I will tell them of all the things we as a generation missed out on because we were too busy wishing we were somewhere else.[/stag_intro]
You see kids, in 2014 we had these things called iPhones. Every year they released a new model and people stood outside all night in long lines in hopes of getting the first one. Yes, they could have just waited a couple days and walked right in, but they were a big deal and you were only cool if you got it first.
These iPhones made life so much easier. They allowed us to navigate through foreign cities and install apps that told us what to eat and not to eat, how to lose weight, and where the best places to shop were. A whole world was programmed into 32 gigs of genius. Our generation had never seen anything like it. We fell madly in love.
I’m sorry to say the story doesn’t end well though, kids. We fell so deeply in love with this device, we could never part ways. We would go to dinner and instead of talking with our best friend, father, or girlfriend, we would scroll through a social app called Facebook.
During some of the biggest events of our lives, we wasted countless minutes taking pictures and posting blurbs about how great our life was, instead of living our “great life.” We spent so much time entertaining the people who lived in our phone, we forgot how to hold a conversation with the people sitting next to us.
In large companies, board members would gather around tables and every few minutes a phone would vibrate. All of them would reach down to read the vital new information buzzed straight into their hand. Wives who just wanted their husband’s attention would be drowned out by the sound of a clicking keyboard and a Twitter feed. When we gathered at group functions, we would pull out our phone and pretend to do something important during every brief awkward moment, just because we didn’t want to branch out and live life outside of the screen. Every day new social applications launched so we could talk more with people, but the irony was people quit talking all together.
Kids, I’m glad to tell you this era eventually ended. People realized they missed out on life and life’s precious memories while Instagramming every moment. It took awhile to see, but we decided to break up with the iPhone, even though we were in love for so long.
We decided we would rather live in the moment than capture the moment. You see, it is a strange feeling to have a picture of a moment you never really lived. It’s like you were there and you remember it, but you forgot the emotion you felt. You forgot what it was like to hold your daughter for the first time. You forgot what is was like watching the sunset. You forgot because you were too busy taking a picture.
Kids, don’t make the same mistakes I’ve made. Live every moment in life with your whole self, not an iPhone.