One day, as I was browsing the web, I grabbed my phone with my free hand and started scrolling through my Instagram feed. My right hand, the one that was doing the browsing-on-the-laptop thing, was still scrolling.
As I paused to observe both sets of ﬁngers simultaneously exploring different realms of the internet, I felt disgusted with myself. So, of course, I proceeded to do the same thing day after day, grabbing my phone while catching up with episodes of my favorite show – even pausing during the suspenseful scenes. To check Instagram.
Oh, the shame.
My attention span has been determinedly deteriorating over the past few years, all due to my addiction to technology. My hands can’t even help it – it’s like they have a life of their own.
Maybe they do, they really do, I can even get a medical professional to prove it.
But I can’t be the only one, right?
Technology is considered both a blessing and a curse and its beneﬁts and drawbacks have been debated to no real end. The truth is, many of us live in a world where it is nearly impossible to get anything done without it. But as with anything else, it’s important to know where to draw the line – and that’s different for everyone.
After realizing how unhappy I became by spending so much time tethered to the online world, I started spending more time unplugged. I made more time for things that nourish my soul, like reading and practicing yoga. The profound effects I felt, including being able to hear myself think, made me realize how valuable it is to detangle yourself from the interwebs on a regular basis.
Lately, things have taken a turn for the worse, and my thumb is starting to get sore from scrolling again. I think it might be related to the fact that, besides the uncontrollable urge to stay up-to-date on who-even-remembers-what, unplugging ultimately means facing the silence.
Facing ourselves, facing the unknown.
There’s so much noise out there that it can be easy to lose touch with yourself, and hard to ﬁnd your own voice – and trust it.
Setting time aside daily or weekly for completely wiﬁ- and tech- free activities like reading, writing, exercising, exploring, and catching up with your favorite people is crucial to maintaining clarity, focus, and creativity.
So instead of overly concerning myself with other people are doing, I want to make time to actually focus on what is happening in front of me.
And to ﬁnd my own voice, and listen to it, without the background noise. And to not be afraid of what I might discover.
© 2015 Reef Magazine