Memphians: Put Down that Phone!

Posted on August 1, 2014

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By Regina Lucreziano

1463723_672387189460792_529431271_nIn today’s world, if you walk into any given restaurant, it is not uncommon to witness many young people sitting at a table, all silent, and staring at their phones instead of interacting with each other. From texting, to looking at social media, to playing an addictive game like 2048, people seem to sacrifice their time to share experiences to waste it away on their devices.

In light of this trend encroaching on my own social experiences, I recently decided to take a break from my phone by deleting all social for an entire month to try and see a little bit of the world that I believe I was beginning to miss out on. I admit it was very hard at first but it was a necessary and eye opening experience. Social media is a conundrum because it can be used for a variety of benefits, like keeping you connected with what is happening in the world and even building new relationships, but it can sometimes have an adverse effect where knowing what everyone is doing and constantly checking in for updates can become addictive and even unhealthy.

My “rant” is not to lecture you, because yes I did give in and got back my Facebook a month later; instead, it is to offer some insight on the advantages to putting your phone down and taking in the amazing experiences, people, and places that surround us in Memphis.

A summertime classic is to head to a sweet spot where the atmosphere is perfect and you and your friends can spend a relaxing evening. One practice that I recommend is having a “no cell phone dinner,” where you specifically promise each other not to look at your phones during dinner. Having a one-on-one conversation with someone is much more satisfying than seeing what a person who you did not choose to spend your night with in the first place, is posting on Instagram. In Midtown, there are great places to try this new trend like at Celtic Crossing’s outside patio where the environment is light and casual with a delicious combination of beer and Irish food. You could also head a block down the street to Greencork where you can grab a glass of wine and delicious cheese platter. Although heading to somewhere to unwind with a drink and some friends is fun, Jerry’s Snow Cones is the perfect place to get a summer treat and soak in the unique places of Memphis all over the city. How can you possibly take in these Memphis moments and simultaneously enjoy the Wedding Cake Snow Cone with a cell phone in your hand looking at some friend’s SnapChat story?

The answer is, you can’t.

Taking your hands off your cell phone is something that can be easier than sitting at a table with the temptation of your phone in your pocket. There are tons of activities in Memphis that everyone can find their niche in the diverse place. For some, staying active is a great way to give back to your mind, body and soul. Taking a run down Mud Island is an active way to clear your mind and enjoy the natural beauty of the Mississippi River. There are also tons of intriguing classes in Memphis that are geared for any type of person looking for a new physical experience like taking a yoga class or getting your cardio on at one of the new places like Cardio Barre. Staying physically active nurtures your mental and physical well-being- without electronics.

For those looking for an artistic or creative outlet, paint nights have been popping up all over the city and are a great new activity to take advantage of. Some restaurants such as Local and Fox and Hound host PaintNite.com activities where artists teach you to replicate (and be a little creative with) their paintings. Places like Seize the Clay also have BYOB girl’s night to create a fun work of art with a group of friends. Some sessions even create landscapes of Memphis for a local twist on art.

If creating art is not for you, listening to it might be what you are looking for. The Memphis Flyer’s music section, gives you all the music that is happening on any given night in specific parts of town, even with specific genres so that you can find the perfect music for you. Memphis has an eclectic music scene that offers unique artists just waiting to perform for an exciting audience. The trick is to put down that phone and immerse oneself into the music, lyrics, atmosphere (and possibly that really cute drummer).

There are too many awesome cell-phone-free activities in Memphis to cover in one article. Unfortunately, because of the technological devices that come between the human contact and experiences that are right in front of our eyes, it is very easy to miss it all. If you aren’t up for the total removal of your cell phone and social media like I did, try it on a smaller scale. Put down the phone for an hour, go do something, and make memories. You won’t remember who liked who’s comment a year from now but I promise you will remember something like that awesome band you saw at a hole in the wall bar with your friends that summer in Memphis.

Regina Lucreziano is the Photography editor for theGRIND and a first year law student at Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

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Posted in: Lifestyle