There was a time when the only technology I owned was a Walkman. I spent my days reading and exploring, and the only thing that mattered was what my mom was making for dinner that night.
Every swing was an opportunity to fly into space; every hill was a chance to climb Mount Everest.
I thought we all eventually had to grow up and lose that child-like wonder. But it’s not because we grow up; it’s because we let ourselves be so consumed by our daily lives that we put our imaginations on the back burner.
My lack of imagination has mostly been caused by technology. It’s consumed my life. I spend more time at my desk on my iMac and on my couch watching Netflix than with my friends.
When watching Netflix, I will simultaneously be on my phone, scrolling through Facebook or playing a mindless game. I claim I don’t have time to read, yet I spend countless hours on my phone.
I don’t let myself have time to rest from the world.
But lately, I’ve been turning off my technology and spending more time with friends. At first, it took a lot of work to not look at my phone. It was a habit to check my newsfeed or email every few minutes and make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Little by little, it’s gotten easier. When I’m alone, sure, I use my phone quite a bit. I’m still working on that. But I’ve found a sense of freedom I didn’t have before. It’s like a weight has been lifted off my chest.
I’m more perceptive to the world around me, but in a completely new way. I don’t see people as they are defined on social media. Instead, I see someone who is letting their imagination go on the back burner as well. It’s been really fun to bring out the child in other adults like myself.
I’ve been finding the joy in the little things, like going out of my way to jump into puddles to splash my friends. I make masks out of tortillas and laugh way too hard. I’ve finally remembered life isn’t meant to be stressful all the time.
People may look at me like I’m crazy, and maybe I am. But I’m definitely having the most fun out of the group.
Today, I challenge you to put away your phone and responsibilities for a little while. Experience life like you used to.