Being present means having your focus, your attention, and your thoughts and feelings all fixed on the task at hand or the person/people you’re with. Being present requires you to pay attention, to be actively listening to those with whom you are having a dialogue, and to be fully engaged with whatever you’re doing.
Yeah, so what, you ask? Well, I’ve noticed lately that I often am not present. Yes, I’m physically present, but I’m not always aware, listening, or engaged in what I am supposed to be doing.
Like right now while my wife is preparing tonight’s dinner and asked me to keep her company. But I’m not really present, not really paying attention to what she’s saying. What am I doing? I’m writing this post and periodically nodding my head and throwing in an occasional “uh huh” for good measure.
Fortunately, my wife is as bad as I am. She’s always on Twitter in order to get the most up-to-date tweets from others who are also constantly on Twitter. I typically have to say something to her two or three times before she’ll actually look up from her smartphone.
When watching TV, be it a drama, a comedy, or the news, I find myself focusing more on what’s on my iPhone’s screen — my news feed, text messages, the WordPress Reader, and even composing new posts — than on what is playing on the TV.
When my family and I are out to dinner, all four of us are looking at our smartphones more than we are interacting with one another. I do turn off my phone when I go to a movie, but it’s the last thing I look at before the movie starts and I turn it on as soon as the movie’s over to see if I missed anything.
I even look at my iPhone while walking the dog! And yes, while sitting on the toilet doing my bizness.
So I really need to start being more present than I’ve been recently. I need to fight this addiction before it takes over completely.
Just as soon as I check the latest baseball scores on my sports app.