My husband, Steven, and I walked around Freedom Park this past weekend. It was a beautiful day, and not too hot, perfect to get outside and enjoy a walk. When we arrived at the park, we noticed a fairly large amount of people, many were in small groups and were all staring at their phones. We soon discovered that they were not the only ones staring at their phones. Screen watchers were all over the park. It seemed they might be playing some kind of game. As Steven and I walked along the walkway, we found ourselves having to dodge some of the screen watchers. We became quite agile at weaving around them, but finally, we left the walkway and strolled along in the grass. 

We took a couple of pictures and started a short conversation with a gentleman named King, who was sitting on a blanket reading a book. He was a very interesting man; he emigrated from China when he was very young and spoke with a New York City accent. I so enjoyed learning his story. We also shared some of our story with him. We said our goodbyes and began to dodge the screen watchers again as we made our way back to the car. 

Steven and I were quiet as we climbed into our van and started the air conditioning. As we sat waiting for the cool air to come, we began to comment to each other on our park adventure. Together we decided that it was a commentary on today’s society. A beautiful day in the park, but it seemed that 85% of the people there hardly looked up to see where they were going. Although Steven and I made a very conscious effort to keep our smartphones in our pockets, I admit I checked mine once for the time and once to see how many steps my Fitbit was registering (I have a daily step goal, and I wanted to meet it before we left the park).  I took this experience to heart. Technology is amazing and in today’s world necessary, but for myself, I am going to make even more of a conscious effort to look up and see where I am going. I don’t want to miss seeing something beautiful, meeting a new friend, or hearing a really great story.