I have been thinking a lot about how much I use my smartphone, tablet and computer. We are constantly connected to everything, everyone and always contactable.
I invite you to have a think about what you do in your free moments before an appointment, in your breaks at work, while you are on public transport? Do you also scroll through your Instagram or Facebook feed? I quite often sit on the train and watch the people around me. Most of them are head down, scrolling their phone. We are not comfortable to just sit and be with our thoughts.
Why do we do this?
I think it’s about filling idle time and posting is often to gain “social capital”, to update friends/family, to get likes, to brag about what we are doing. But it can be easy to get feelings of jealousy and comparison as we compare other people’s lives to our own. We forget that we are only seeing the “best moments” of their day/life, just like we share our highlights, it is not often that people show the negatives of their day on social media.
Technology has huge benefits. It allows us to stay connected with friends and family all over the world, it allows us to work from wherever we choose. But that being said, most of us probably stare at a computer or phone screen for the bulk of our working week. Then if you are like me, come home and end up watching TV or scrolling through the internet (or even both at the same time). Many of us have developed an attachment to technology, we get distracted, we end up scrolling for hours longer than intended.
I feel like my eyes, body and brain never get a break from the screen and I need to get better at ensuring they do. In need to look up! If you think about it, it was only really about 30 years ago, where you could go out and no one would know where you were, you couldn’t contact them, things would just have to wait. We have got so impatient, we have come to expect an immediate response from people. We believe that people should always be available.
A friend sent this Ted Talk to me and she was inspired to think about how much she was using technology in her day-to-day life. This video has definitely made me think more about how I can stop using my phone as often as I do. I very rarely go anywhere without my phone, I would like to think it was because if I got into trouble it would be handy to have, but I think my phone has just become a natural extension of my hand, it is really more of a habit. But I do think it is so important to take a little time out each day from technology, for our own well-being.
That hour or so that I practice yoga away from my phone is a great way to get away from the screen and just focus on mind, body and soul. Some of my favourite holidays have been away from technology and wifi, such as time in Samoa or living as a nomad in Mongolia. It gives you a newfound appreciation for the simple things in life. So I’m going to make a conscious effort this week to try put my phone down or away in my bag and just focus on where I am and who I am with. Instead taking my book out and reading, noticing my surroundings or just catching up with a friend without any distractions. I think a little break from the technology that we are constantly surrounded by will do us good – it will help with concentration and help us get a better nights sleep.
Life after all is about experiencing the now. It is about connection and spending time with people in real life. Getting out in nature and noticing the little things.
Do you consciously turn your phone off to get away from technology?