Did you know that the average person spends 4 years of their life looking down at their cellphone? 4 years?? That’s a massive chunk of a life, how utterly terrifying. I recently came across a very thought-provoking youtube video, interestingly I was sent it as part of teaching literature, perhaps with the hope that teachers would pass on these messages to the future generations before it’s too late.
Personally I’ve always had a problem with the ever increasing and worryingly sharp rise in technology, the inability of people today to go out for dinner with their friends without having to check their phone every 2 minutes, or even worse, those who have their phone sitting on the table during dinner so that it can obnoxiously ring or beep in the middle of a conversation. Do we need to be in constant contact with the World? Would it be so terrible if for 2 hours your phone was in your bag on silent so that it didn’t disturb your evening with friends?
So very sadly, these behaviours are no longer seen as rude, it’s now normal to sit with your phone on the table, quite acceptable to pull it out to take a photo of your dinner, or to search for something on google, or to simply have a quick check on Facebook. How is this acceptable? Not so long ago it wasn’t seen as polite to have your elbows on the table during dinner, yet now it’s completely fine to cut someone off mid-conversation to flick through your phone?
Just some of the ideas coming from this simple yet very thought-provoking short video: Ironic how these ‘touch screens’ can make us actually lose touch. Zuckerberg should rename his empire an ‘Anti’ Social network, as rather than connecting people, it leads to less and less face-to-face contact. In a world full of i-Phones, i-pads and i-macs, so many ‘i’s but no ‘we’ or ‘us’. Technology has made us more selfish and separate than ever. Most striking to me was the observation that we sit at home on our computers measuring our self worth by the numbers of followers and likes. On your death bed when you are looking back and reflecting on your life, are you really going to worry and fret that you didn’t quite reach a million followers? Is your biggest regret going to be that not enough people ‘liked’ the video or picture you uploaded? None of this matters, none of it. It doesn’t matter how many Facebook friends you have, it matters how many actual friends you have. Who will rush to help you when everything goes wrong? Not your 2000 ‘followers’, but your real friends, the ones who know your likes and dislikes, who know what makes you happy, who make the effort to stay in touch and who you’ve seen face-to-face in the last year.
‘Ignoring those who actually love us it seems we’d rather write an angry post than talk to someone who might actually hug us’
Studies show that down time, even boredom, is good for you brain. We all need more of it. When a momentary gap appears in your day, instead of mindlessly reaching for your phone, mindfully let your mind wander.Terry Small