Switch Off to Switch On
Words by Vanessa S Miranda
Image by Chris Ford


Saturday night… I meet two friends for drinks at one of the newest places in town. It’s the end of a busy work week and an opportunity to relax and catch up, make small talk, discuss plans and our lives, gossip a little, be together. We grab our wine glasses and look for a table in a place buzzing with young and beautiful energy and people. We see an available spot and sit down…
If imagination was to flow one would see three girls in their mid-twenties, having a glass of wine on a Saturday night and one would imagine the conversations, the laughter, the giggles, the girl-talk (!). But rewind a little…instead, after a small exchange of words one of them pulls her cellphone and starts to check her facebook, her Instagram, her messages, showing us videos, commenting on comments, browsing food pictures, and soon the other one follows her.
Suddenly it hits me…I’m not out with my friends, I’m out with myself and my wine glass for company.
I look around and sadly I see a lot groups out with their phones. They are together, they maybe even exchange a couple of words or jokes but their dates are their smartphones. A constant streaming of funny videos, facebook articles, Instagram photos and instant snapchats from other people that become the center of their lives.
I wonder what happened to us and to the now. Do you want to know how my day went? Do you have something new in your life you want to share? Do you want to discuss religion or love? Have you read a book or seen a movie that made an impact and you want to tell me why?
I’m here! I want to listen to you, I want to have profound conversations and intellectual exchanges of ideas, I want to know what goes on in your life, and I want you to know what goes on in mine.
I’m here! I will always be here in the present, that’s my choice. I choose to put my phone on my bag and listen to the life around me, to my friends and family, to given unlimited attention to that moment and those in front of me. I choose not to be dependable on technology and fake connections. I choose to connect with life and people, to be mindfully present here and now! Shouldn’t we all?



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