How often do you pick up your cell phone?
Every couple of minutes? Only when it rings? Maybe just when you need to check Facebook.
Could you put it down for a minute? Not move it, touch it, or stick it in your pocket for an entire minute? How about seven? Fourteen? Two hours, or more?
I ask because a friend posted about UNICEF’s Tap Project on Facebook yesterday and it is all about putting your cell phone down. The idea behind it is that if children in third world countries can go without clean water for days at a time, why don’t we try going without our cell phones for a minute? Turns out they make ignoring texts, calls, and the latest Facebook update more enticing because a sponsor will donate one day of clean water to a child in need for every one minute you leave your phone alone.
I tried this particular experiment last night and realized just how often I pick up my phone. As it was sitting on my desk I kept reaching for it and had to stop myself. I wanted to check the time (even though I have a watch), I wanted to check the weather (even though I could just open my window and listen), and I wanted to tweet even though I had a laptop sitting a couple feet away from me. In other words, leaving my cell phone alone for almost two hours was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated.
In the end I ended up sponsoring 121 days of clean water for a child. I felt good about it, but it also made me realize just how blessed I am that I can walk into my kitchen, fill up my water bottle, and be able to trust that I wasn’t going to get sick from it. I know this whole scenario is so stereotypical of the Western world and I don’t want to pat myself on the back because I didn’t pick up a cell phone for just over two hours.
The point of this blog is to bring attention to an amazing project and a good cause. UNICEF does a lot of good work and they don’t just provide clean water.
If you’d like to learn more, you can check out the project here: http://tap.unicefusa.org/
I’d also like to encourage you, every time you pick up your cell phone, to think about a way you can help people in need.
Go and do.