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Stop looking at your phone, life is passing you by

Today my husband and I had lunch at McDonalds, so what, right? There thousands upon thousands of McDonalds all over the world, you are probably wondering why should this stores merit a writing piece.

For starters, it’s a new store, it opened a few months ago. The interiors are different, instead of a long counter that separates the crew from the customers, attendants stand against the wall. Diners can order from the self order kiosk, and just proceed to the counter to pay for the food. The diners are no longer privy to the action in the kitchen. After paying diners can wait for their orders form the claim counter.

Apparently it’s called McDonalds NXTGEN

The tables and chairs are also different. Lots of booths, and a long table, which can double as a work or meeting area, since it has outlets for laptops and chargers. 

For me, the game changer was the adjacent McCafe, which has all the pleasurable components of a coffee place – excellent flat white, cakes and cookies and a relaxing playlist.

I felt a different wave of excitement, it was like entering a new restaurant, a new experience. Before today’s significant McDonalds visit,  I only go to fast food joints for survival – it’s the only place open at 5 am.

Feeling the new vibe, I found myself sharing with my husband about our field trip to McDonalds when I was in sophomore year in high school back in the ‘80s. “We went to the Cubao branch, and we then we watched a film about how the store started, and why McDonalds isn’t just a restaurant. My classmates and I felt so grown-up because we had to line up, order pay and carry our own food. Of course we were spilling the softdrinks all over the place, clumsy as we were.” 

My husband started his hotel and restaurant career in McDonalds. He was part of the crew that opened the Greenhills store back in the 90s. 

Don’t let your phone run your life

And so our chicken and spaghetti lunch became an animated discussion about the famous burger joint.

At the far end of McCafe, I saw 2 people seated across each other and glued to their phones as if their lives were dependent on it. Every so often they would pause and take a sip of their cold drinks and then get back to their phones. I just realized I have not touched my phone since I entered this restaurant. I was too captivated by the nice store and my memories, that I forgot about my the two (one for personal use and one for office use) phones in my bag. 

How can people miss out on interesting moments like this? I mean two people seated across one another they must be friends, or family or they won’t be seated in one table. But don’t they have anything interesting to talk about? It’s a Sunday afternoon, tomorrow is Monday, everybody will be back on the grind, and it will take about 5 or 6 days, before we can have another leisure moment such as this. 

There is a live person in front of you, who has many facets in terms of talent or interest. He or she probably has some interesting opinion, then those Facebook posts you are reading. This person is real, you can touch him, hold his hand, feel his laughter. Unlike all the FB posts that are hardly true or sincere. But you will never know, because you never asked because are too busy looking at your phone. 

Today’s 20-30 something are exposed to a world, I could only dream about when I was their age, yet they do not seem to appreciate it. I am in my 50s and a new McDonalds store sends me a different wave of excitement, these kids probably couldn’t care less. 

Guys there is a world out there waiting to be appreciated. There are tons of people around you, who share your insight, or can give you a new twist about an idea that has been brewing in your mind. Look up from your phone, smile and get to know the world.

Don’t let your phone dictate on your life. Actual relationships are more fulfilling. People who see your tears, who genuinely take time out to have coffee with you. Get to know your work mates, your friends, your family. 

Phones are great for reaching out to people who are far away. But guess what, there is a person right in front of you, don’t you want to get to know them? 

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