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Do you sometimes feel lonely in the company of others because everyone is pre-occupied with their phones?

If friends and family are so important, why are some of us spending so much time with our phones while they’re around? Technology can be a problem. The challenge is to become more mindful 3 Apps To Help You Practice Mindfulness in 2014 and Beyond 3 Apps To Help You Practice Mindfulness in 2014 and Beyond If you feel like the past year went by like a jet plane, you might be doing something wrong. Read More in regards to our own use of technology, change how we behave, and inspire others do the same. Try these fun ways to break the isolation and claim back your friends’ attention.

Share This Video With Your Friends

In the first scene, the video shows a young woman holding her partner, who is checking his phone, seemingly not interested in her presence. In the next scene, she is at the beach and her friend is having a lively conversation on the phone, paying no attention to her. In the third scene, she and a bunch of friends seem to be having a conversation, but one after the other drops out as they become preoccupied with their phones; in the end, only she is left observing them with disappointment.

One scene after the other highlights how we are not being present during everyday activities Etiquette For Phones: Is Your Smartphone Making You Totally Obnoxious? Etiquette For Phones: Is Your Smartphone Making You Totally Obnoxious? Read More . Whether we’re with our partner, doing sports, or partying, our phones are always with us, either begging for attention or being used to document the event. If this video helped you wake up to reality, share it with friends who tend to behave the same. Who knows, it might trigger a conversation about how technology runs your lives.

The Phone Stacking Game

If your friends recognized themselves in the video above, they might be open to play this game. The next time you’re hanging out together, ask everyone to put their phone face down at the center of the table; you can stack the phones if you want. The idea is that you will have each other’s undivided attention as nobody can get distracted by their phones.

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Phone Stack

The first person to reach for their phone, before your time together is up, has to do something for the group. This can be whatever you agreed upon beforehand, for example if you’re at a bar they could pick up the bill or if you cooked together they could do the dishes or maybe the technology addict should do some push-ups. Just make sure everyone agrees to the rules of the game before you stack the phones.

Mindfulness Bell

The Mindfulness Bell is a simple Android app. All it does is chime at random intervals to remind you to be present. If you use this throughout the day, it will inevitably chime while you’re with somebody else. This is a great opportunity to briefly explain the concept of mindfulness and what the bell reminds you of. Now it will remind everyone to be present.

Mindfulness Bell

Learn About The Mind Together

If the phone stacking game and the Mindfulness Bell weren’t pushing it, maybe your friends are genuinely interested in learning about how the mind works and how they can improve their memory, concentration, and overall well-being. There are so many secrets to be uncovered and the Internet has many lessons in store.

YouTube and TED offer an amazing collection of inspiring and motivational videos 10 Motivational TED Talks To Help You Chip Away At Your Mental Blocks 10 Motivational TED Talks To Help You Chip Away At Your Mental Blocks The valuable lesson from the lives of achievers is that they chip away at their mental blocks more consistently than others. Ten TED Talks underscore one simple thing – it’s all in the mind. Read More . If your friends are open to these subjects, share these videos or watch them together.

Practice

The video is a conversation starter, the phone stacking game a fun way to eliminate distractions, and the Mindfulness Bell is a great reminder for whatever is important to you. As you learn more about mindfulness through videos and conversations, you will come across advanced techniques to train your mind, especially meditation Meditation Made Easy: Tools & Resources To Aid Your Well-Being Meditation Made Easy: Tools & Resources To Aid Your Well-Being If you have come to the conclusion that meditation is a method to calm your mind and achieve well-being worth trying, then we can help you with resources and tools. Read More . If you and your friends have come this far, you have practiced a whole lot of mindfulness already.

Whatever you do, remember you can only change yourself. You have the power to put your phone down and return to life. You can recognize the presence of others and be present with them. You can live in the moment. And you can inspire others with what you do.

Image credits: Phone Stack by gabemac via Flickr

  1. Moon
    January 30, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    I gave up my cell phone about 5 years ago, and haven't looked back.

    I have a land line with voice mail. You want to reach me? Leave me a message, I'll call you when I'm home. There is absolutely nothing so important that I need to be interrupted while I'm out. The house burning down? Call the fire dept. Someone died? They'll still be dead when I get home. Yeah, it's a pain when I have to order a pizza and wait in the parking lot until it's done, but if that's the worst I have to deal with... life is good.

    • James B
      February 24, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Wife giving birth? Sod it, she can wait. What's another few hours on 9 months eh, am I right?!

  2. Trying Not To Assimilate
    January 29, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I agree with your comment that 'we're not in any way less alive by using the internet and related technologies', but you can't deny the fact that the majority of people out there have their heads buried looking at their phones instead of enjoying their surroundings.

    I personally get annoyed when hanging out with friends and all I see when I look around is them looking at Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. These are great avenues to use when I'm alone and need time to kill, but when I'm with people, I'd rather enjoy spending time with them instead of seeing another baby picture my friend posted.

    I guess I appreciate being surrounded by a physical person instead of being surrounded by something they typed online.

  3. alive
    January 29, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    We're not in any way less alive by using the internet and related technologies. If anything we're more alive by personally augmenting our everyday life.

    Mindfulness is the snake oil you peddle when you have no talent but want to be paid to talk.

    • Carlo Vincente
      January 29, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      Less phones and tablets and more fresh air and sun. Just go for it and you won´t turn back.

    • Yodi Collins
      January 29, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      And what do YOU do to earn your keep?

    • dragonmouth
      January 30, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      alive,
      Are you even capable of having a face to face interaction with others? Or are you one of those that needs an Internet gizmo to talk to anybody? Do you have to use a smartphone to whisper sweet nothings while making love to your (in)significant other? Talk about sterile intercourse!

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