Charged: Life Beyond the Phone

It was just a normal day heading to have lunch with my brother until I realize….

I’m sitting in the parking lot of the restaurant and notice my phone was at 1%. Never a good sign for a millennial. So I frantically look for my phone charger throughout my car and it is nowhere to be found. My brother pulls up and I asked him if I could borrow his car charger. He obliged and we left the phone charging in the car as we went into the restaurant. After we ordered our food we sat down visiting a little bit and then all of a sudden, I begin to fill it, my lack of phone. I reach down to retrieve my phone from my pocket and then realize it’s not there. I wish I could tell you for the next few moments I was totally locked into my brother who I don’t see as much as I used to, but I wasn’t. Even though my phone was absent, the impulse to check it was still very prevalent. About every 2 minutes my hand would do a sudden flinch as if to check my notifications. It was purely out of habit. I wanted to check my texts, my email, my Facebook, I wanted to check Instagram, I wanted to check my online subscription to the Wall Street Journal, the Dave Ramsey Podcast, ESPN, the list goes on and on. My eyes would constantly look down in the middle of the conversation expecting to find a screen. I kept thinking about the apps and what notifications I might be missing instead of focusing on what my brother was telling me about.

Finally, after 20 or so minutes, I got passed the impulses and forgot about my pesky phone. I zeroed in to every detail my brother was saying and honestly, I’m ashamed to admit, it was one of the most meaningful conversations I had ever had with him. Primarily because the distraction of my phone was out of the way. The need to be attentive to others can’t be said enough. I’m trying to get better at it and I know my generation lacks in this department. The fact is: We weren’t made for ourselves, we were made for others. Just like our phones we too need to be charged, not by an outlet, not by electricity, but instead by the moments we have with people.

So here’s the “charge” of this post: The internet will always be here. Our phones will always be here. Social media will always be here, but you know what? The people in our lives won’t always be. Take it from someone who is trying to get better at being fully focused. Sometimes the best way for us to connect with others is to disconnect from distractions. Unplug the android and shut down the iPhone and other devices and start paying attention to the world around you. We have no idea what we are missing.

Perhaps one day you’ll have an experience like I just had. You will quickly realize that we were made for more than cellular technology, but for moments like I had with my brother. Moments that are meaningful, memorable, and most of all, charge us up to live a better life. #Charged #LifeBeyondPhones #NewYear #NewBlog #Attentiveness

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Brandon Baumgarten

Brandon Baumgarten grew up in the small town of Oilton, Oklahoma and was elected to serve the Oklahoma FFA Association as State Secretary, State President, and as a National Officer Candidate representing nearly 25,000 students on the local, state, and national levels from 2011-2013. Afterwards, Brandon launched his speaking career and authored the highly sought after leadership book, Caught Up & Called Out, hoping to help others see the impact they can make on this world. He is a professional speaker, speaking at over 100 different events each year, and a graduate from Oklahoma State University in Agricultural Leadership, and was even named a top 10 student. He is a Zig Ziglar Legacy & Youth Certified Presenter and his message is always to engage, encourage, and empower you to do something big in your life! No matter if you are a student, teacher, parent, or business executive, Brandon's presentations are certain to make you laugh, think, and realize your impact is about to begin!

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