Walking Mamma Biscuit every day affords me the opportunity to decompress from my fast-paced New York City life. I love taking our little gremlin outdoors—surrounded by nature within a park or the city at large while observing everyone’s reaction to her unbearable cuteness. Every walk we take or excursion we embark on seems to turn into a mini adventure full of surprises that add to the fabric of our city life! So it really came as no surprise when Mamma and I stumbled upon this spray-painted sentiment on the sidewalk on Broadway alongside Fort Tryon Park during her walk the other day. Now I don’t usually approve of vandalism (even though the color cyan makes me happy) but once I noticed this at my feet, all I could do was smile in agreement and fumble for my camera! I can’t help but wonder: if I were as obsessed with a mobile device, would I have even noticed this—or for that matter, the beautiful sky above?
Now before I even go on with this post, there is something you all should know about me: I have the oldest cell phone on the planet. It’s a flip-top phone that’s big and bulky and the battery is constantly running dry. It may even be six years old at this point yet I refuse to consider getting a new phone. New devices are so complicated looking and scare the living daylights out of me. Anyway, I can text and I can take crappy photographs with my cell phone but the sheer functionality of those features along with the overall look of the device is beyond archaic. In short, my phone is a direct reflection of how I view and consume mobile media. It’s not that I’m against devices that help us communicate on the go but what bothers me the most is how engrossed and obsessed people can get with their digital life—so much to the point that they neglect full, enjoyable experiences within their real life by default. The compulsion to text or tweet just for the sake of saying something while in a social setting or simply while walking down the street is a bit absurd (depending on the subject matter and how frequent) and can lead to anti social behavior in my opinion, yet everyone around me seems to do it all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an avid Facebook user and I blog here on Mamma’s little corner on the web so I’m no stranger to contributing to the big digital landfill of data up in the sky (you know, the big, beautiful sky) however, I engage in both these mediums at a desk while sitting down, not while walking on the street—and certainly not while eating in a restaurant or worse, on a dance floor at a nightclub. I guess Mamma and I are old-fashioned but wouldn’t it be better if we all allowed ourselves more of a life of full, undistracted experiences in real-time before reporting back and commenting on those experiences digitally? Wouldn’t racing to text or tweet something as an event unfolds cause us to actually miss out on the experience? Just a thought.
Now the last thing Mamma Biscuit and I want to do is find a cliche inspiration in some kind of “stop and smell the roses” idea but this sidewalk quote seems to be serviceable. So let’s put down our damn phones and start experiencing more in real-time. We may find that once we stop glaring at the blue of our mobile digital screens, we’ll stumble across something amazing that we would have missed had we buried our heads in our phones—like a cute pug with an unnaturally long tongue on the sidewalk! Now if you can’t do it for Mamma, then do it for Elmo! Had I been pecking away at a mobile keyboard, I would have missed Elmo smiling and waving at me as I passed him by—and that would have been a damm shame!
Here’s hoping none of you will accidentally walk into a brick wall while viewing this post on your mobile device!