Written By: Alyssa Rogers
I attended a beautiful wedding last weekend. It was a warm, sunny Pacific Northwest spring Saturday. Soft bits of cotton from trees gently and slowly floated down through the air. As the bridal party began its procession I noticed something else. This something wasn’t so pretty, though. I noticed a shocking amount of attendees looking at their phones instead of the wedding ceremony that had just started. Sure, they were mostly looking through their phone cameras and at the procession, but they weren’t watching and living in the moment and celebrating mindfully. How unfortunate, I thought, that these guests aren’t experiencing the sunshine or kiss of the breeze as the flower girl toddles down the aisle and the beautiful bride as she walks by, beaming.
There is nothing profound or original about saying that many people these days have our phones in our hands or very close to our persons a lot. During weddings, as brides walk down the aisle, people (sometimes dozens of them!) will video record and take photos of the procession, as if professional photographers haven’t just been hired to do that very job. Focused on snapping pics, applying filters, and adding hashtags, we are missing that precious, once in a lifetime moment. We are detached from reality for the time being, and, in a way, electing to not participate in the ceremony.
We are addicted to those pesky phones because each like, retweet, comment, and notification triggers the correct neurons in our brain that release dopamine. We’re wired to seek more of what makes us happy. The more we interact with our phones, the more chemical hits we receive. We are literally addicted. But that doesn’t mean there’s not hope. Silencing our phones and actively taking time away from them to practice mindful living is essential. Some couples even ask their guests to keep their phones put away during the ceremony or entire wedding, a practice called “unplugged weddings”.
It’s wedding season. So, please, put down your tiny, handheld computers, Happy Sunday.