What Makes You Look Up From Your Phone? 

What would you say are the things that surround you, that are your #EyesUp moments? In other words, what makes you marvel at something? Or simply stop in your tracks and stare at it in disbelief? Or simply – as us Potatoheads like to say – stop and smell the roses?

In this ever-technological age, I’ve come to appreciate more and more things that make me – quite simply – look up. That means looking up from my computer, from my phone: It can mean any sort of screen or device for that matter. Looking and marveling at things that are historic or grand or like nothing I’ve seen before makes me feel like a kid again. And an everyday thing that makes me forget about my phone is a hard feat to accomplish. It’s a novel feeling in this day and age to feel like you’re “escaping” when actually you’re just experiencing something in the real world.

These are some of my own #EyesUp moments…

Traveling and then walking through a completely new city for long periods of time is an #EyesUp moment for me. I love to walk, and I find I can get to know a city that way. I also find some serenity and even “meditation.” It’s also such a fun way to people-watch.

Seeing truly great theater is another key one of mine. I find that this can be the quintessential escape, even more so than film and TV. Because when you’re at a play in the audience, it’s almost like you’re part of it with the actors.

Anything that peaks the senses can be an #EyesUp moment, and I’d say a great meal – from what’s on the dish to what surrounds it – is one of the rare times I put my phone on silent and stow it away.

As cliché as it sounds, playing fetch with my dog is another experience that gets me to look up, and stop and smell the roses. I have an Australian Shepherd Scout, and because he’s a sheepdog he is incredibly focused in any and every task that he does. So fetch is less a game to him than a driven, back and forth mission. And I simply love watching him go back and forth, sometimes catching it on one bounce, sometimes on two, sometimes after a tumble. I wish catching a ball on the first bounce was my biggest focus in life…

Good conversation is an obvious one, but even better than that is a conversation unencumbered by looking up facts on IPhones. I was at a dinner the other night, and something debatable came up that everyone quickly whipped out their phones to look up who was right and who was wrong. I spoke up and said “wait, let’s try to figure it out and have it out ourselves.” We sat for 40 minutes, having to figure out something we could have found with one click. We actually ended up having to look it up in the end as the jury couldn’t reach a verdict. Nevertheless it was so fun: It’s the journey not the destination!

What would you say your #EyesUp moments are? They can be out there, they can be every day: There are no wrong answers! I’d like to hear from you…

13 thoughts on “What Makes You Look Up From Your Phone? 

  1. Time spent outside in natural environments certainly qualifies. Birding has been an interest of mine for many years and has taken me to many different and intesresting countries. When you are exploring a place you have never been, walking through a forest or by an ocean or on top of a mountain or in a desert, senses attuned to movement and sound around you, when you seek to understand and experience connection with wild animals and plants in their natural homes, not just online or in artificial settings, something sacred and magical happens over time. I cannot explain it exactly, but the more time you spend, the more the beauty of the natural world just becomes a part of you. There is a John Muir quote I always loved “ These beautiful days must enrich all my life. They do not exist as mere pictures, maps hung upon the walls of memory… but they saturate themselves into every part of the body
    and live always.”

  2. Yet another great piece, Laura! I have so many #EyesUp moments each day, purposefully. Dog snuggles, cooking from scratch, letting grass tickle my toes (ok, maybe that’s #EyesDown) and reading old-fashioned paper books top my list. And then there’s a nod to #EyesClosed during Yin Yoga, meditation and dreamtime.

  3. I like looking at art, and I like listening to music with headphones while I either close my eyes or daydream. I like looking at trees. When I’m experiencing stress, I focus on the tops of trees, high up, above everything, and imagine myself up there, away from earthly concerns.

  4. Although some of you may disagree with the activity, and please accept that I respect your opinion but would rather not discuss it. I spend my Saturday’s hunting, I don’t look at my phone (unless I take a photo) from 11am until the end of the day. I’m too busy watching the light in my horses eyes, watching hounds work, the beauty of nature. My horse absolutely loves hunting, there’s nothing like seeing his face when he hears the hounds. I finish the day and spend another few hours making sure he’s clean and cosy in his stable, that he has a big supper and haynet for the night. He always seems so grateful after a day filled with galloping around the countryside with his fellow horsey pals, I suppose it’s very natural for them. I clean my tack and then I suddenly remember I have a phone! The countryside is the tonic.

  5. I have a rule for myself,. No driving if it’s less than a 45 minute walk. It helps cultivate those #EyesUp moments in my own neighborhood. I love noticing a detail on a house that I never did before or seeing a beautiful time for both the first and 1000th time.

    1. Do you keep this rule in EVERY type of weather? (Don’t know where you live but recent temperatures would have made a 45-minute walk dangerous in much of the U.S.!)

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