Did I get your attention?
Ahh yes… these are the words I would frequently say while I was living in San Francisco from 2008-2014. Yeah, yeah… I know the title may be a bit harsh, but if you know me by now, I say it like it is.
Moving on with my rant…
So, this was an almost everyday occurrence on the streets of SF, strolling my little ones at the time and nearly having a heart attack. I know that looking down at the phone is a global epidemic, but geez, when it came to this West Coast city, the entitlement of walking across the street was just insane! I mean, pedestrians just assumed that cars would stop, regardless of looking down or up! I don’t know about you but, what happened to defensive walking. These peeps would not have survived where I’m from for one minute!
Now, this was simply MY experience living there. So, for my friends who still live there, can we all agree that this ‘aint about you?
So, here’s where I’m going with this. Now that facilities have opened, I’m currently teaching in-person classes. I’ve been noticing that people have also been looking down at their phones while in class too. They’re either texting or even leaving the room to make a call. What happened to giving yourself the time to SHUT DOWN! What happened to honoring yourself the time to just be present – 100% of the class time. Do people not want to get value from a class? (If you ask me, it’s also disrespectful to the teacher.)
So, here’s what’s been going down as a result… people tripping over their feet, bumping into their neighbor, and no joke…someone falling and hitting their head on the other person’s step (a fitness prop) behind them.
Imagine if we looked up into people’s eyes, or someone or something in front of us, as often as we look down at our phones. Imagine the difference it would make. We would move and dance while being present, smiling, engaged with others, and hopefully not falling on our asses!
So as instructors, how do we deal with this? Well, I’ll tell you how I handle it and hopefully it will help you:
1. I make eye contact with the student. I don’t offer a “pissed off” look, but a slight smile that says, “I notice”.
2. If that doesn’t work then I move near that person and continue teaching so that they get distracted by my voice and presence.
3. And if that doesn’t work, I make a general comment to the class saying, “Thanks for showing up to class today and giving yourself this gift of movement. Let’s continue staying present.”
And that’s how I do it professionally and positively. But what I really want to say is, “Look up yo’, there’s f*cking joy coming your way.” (boom!)