Sometimes when I walk around, I literally say to myself …





Those are robotic sounds because I see the way people have become. Almost robotic in the way they walk. Or, if you’ve seen zombie movies, most people have become zombies in their life.

People look at their phones like they’re possessed by them.

I’ve never seen a phenomenon like that, ever.

I remember when I had a clamshell phone and I refused to text on it. I got my first smartphone.

It was a Blackberry Pearl in a raspberry red color, or burgundy color.

I think it was 2007.

I learned how to text for the very, very first time and that was the start of what I would start to realize that I gained a third hand.

I was constantly checking it. I was constantly waiting for the Pavlovian beep to go off so a new text would come.

I was replacing phone calls with text messaging, but it’s so much more efficient. Why bother talking to another human when you can send words on a screen?

I remember I fought getting the iPhone, and I finally got one in, I think, in 2010. And by then it was all over. I was alternating between iPhones and Blackberries.

And now, unfortunately, there are times when I realize I’m incessantly checking my phone 24/7. Sometimes when I just sit and I start watching something on TV, I check my phone without even realizing it, throughout the entire TV show.

I haven’t watched a football game from start to finish in years. When a football game is on, I tend to miss plays non-stop because I’m checking to see if someone responded to my ridiculously wise ass beautifully written comment on Facebook.

I’m checking e-mail to see if a sale came in or a client was looking for an answer.

I’m checking Facebook to see if any new friends have popped up or said anything clever.

I check my phone more than I even admit. Sometimes I find it really, really hard to go the whole day without checking my phone.

A few weekends ago I was at an event with my daughter. I left my phone behind and it was probably one of the better days I’ve spent this year. When we were walking from my car, I looked at Layla, and I said to her …

I forgot my phone, baby.

She looked at me and said …

Well, you’re not a mommy. And mommies are always on their phone. It’s a good thing, daddy, you didn’t bring your phone because then we couldn’t just play all day.

It was great. I was present, like, all day. We were at this fair or event from probably 1:00 in the afternoon until they closed it at 6. Did I miss my phone? Not at all. Did I miss looking at my screen when other human beings were wanting to connect with me? Not at all. Did I miss anything on my screen when I went back to check it when I got back to the car? Not at all. But yet, you, me and million — billions of other people in this world have become screen addicts.

We miss so many moments because of constantly looking at our phone.

Admit it, the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is grab your phone and check something on it. You can rationalize it all you want, you can say you check your news feed or league of favorite blog, or you listen to a podcast.

But in reality there are no excuses at all.

You see, we’re not present anymore. We’re constantly looking for ways to be entertained. Ways to be enlightened. Ways to connect with people. Instead of just connecting. I truly want to start a movement that I’m really serious about it.

I want to do screen-free Saturday. Make it the second Saturday of every single month where we’re screen free. We’re forced to make plans ahead of time. We’re forced to not check our e-mails. We’re forced to just bop around and be wherever we might be, whether it’s a farmer’s market or a street fair or whatever it might be.

But I believe we need to start some type of movement, because we’re becoming addicts, zombies, and robots to a little four-inch screen.

I’m as guilty as anybody else of checking it, sometimes, way too much. I try my best not to check it with my daughter.

But when I do, she’ll look at me and catch me, and say, daddy, pay attention to me. Maybe we should say that to each other when we’re sitting having dinner, and your friend is staring at a text message or staring, posting something on Facebook, sharing that moment with all his followers.

Maybe you should look at your friend and say, hey, pay attention to me. Maybe when we walk around we should walk around and say, pay attention to me! Because that’s what we need.