We are distracted. One quick look around and it’s evident everywhere you go. It’s in line at the store, in waiting rooms, and even at traffic lights. Our noses are permanently affixed to our devices.
Humans are addicted to knowing, to being in the loop, and wanting to be the first to know. Our minds tirelessly race to get more and more information that we have deemed important. We’ve become mindless robots consuming, commenting, and scrolling looking for just one more tiny dopamine hit, for one more great discovery that will set everything right.
What we think is important
We think it’s all important and that’s the problem. With a mindset like that how could we possibly put our phones down?
Now, combine this with downtime — small amounts of downtime peppered throughout our days. We fill these small moments with… screen time. The very thing we tell our kids to limit for the betterment of their mental and physical health.
Our lives are hectic, we think. We need this innocent distraction in order to unwind the stressful day. What’s the harm? Plus, we’re checking on our friend’s feed, our group, or any important, jaw-dropping, earth-shattering notification that could potentially save the world from utter annihilation. So leave us be please, this is important!
You’re not on X?
A while ago, my friends would ask me if I saw this or that on whatever platform was popular at the time. I would usually say no. Now, they don’t even ask me anymore. There was a time when things like Facebook and Twitter were thought of as important in everyday life for us simpletons. Sure, politicians, celebrities, and self-important “influencers” see it as lifeblood, but normal people treat it as a means to connect with friends and family. It’s no longer for that.
I’m 45 (I think), and refuse to participate in the drivel. I try to connect, bond, and communicate with my family, extended family, and close friends. A quick call or text get’s the job done.
But there are still so many who are addicted. Who take their phone out during any and all downtime in their day. Is this really unwinding? Is this really the way to relax? Online arguments, reading controversial posts, mindlessly scrolling for the next dopamine hit?
The good, the bad, and the ugly
Let’s start with the ugly. it’s pretty evident that we need to do something. These emotionally charged feuds, arguments, and monologues are taking us away from the important things in life.
Is your son or daughter pulling on your arm while you scroll in the grocery line?
Do you keep repeating, “Just a minute” while they are trying to get you to play with them?
Are you saying, “Uh huh” to them checking your notifications while they are telling you a story from school?
We are losing them. We’re losing the precious moments that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Our kids notice. Every. Single. Time.
The bad. So maybe you’ve come to your senses and put down the phone and are paying more attention to your surroundings. Great! But wait there’s more. When you do finally have time alone and want to indulge how are you spending that time? Are you again mindlessly scrolling looking for that little nugget of gold?
Take a good look at what you’re doing. Did you check off three important things on your list for work or home or did you go down a rabbit hole? Did you spend an hour getting to where you left off on your feed (which makes you falsely feel accomplished), or did you have a heart to heart with a close friend?
In these “million moments” are you spending them wisely? Are you truly, de-stressing, realigning, and recharging? Or do you feel even more exhausted?
The good. You have a choice. No, not a choice in which social media platform to use, a choice to switch off. To put it down, limit screen time like you do for your kids, and finally take back your time for good.
I won’t go into the benefits in detail, but expect better focus, better sleep, more quality time with your family, friends, and even yourself. Expect better quality out of your day, checking off important to-dos, and having a more peaceful existence.
What we perceive as productive, “catching up with friends,” and time-sensitive isn’t. Our time is limited. How will we spend it?
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