I just finished packing for Mexico, and I have more cords and chargers than sunscreens and bathing suits. iPhone, iPad, laptop, Flip video, iPod…. And yet the thought of traveling without one of them invokes a sweaty panic.
Our attachment to technology is worth examining as, at some point, those gadgets we love are no longer tools we use but tools that use us. They create a dangerous type of distraction – the one that allows us to still feel productive while blindly stealing our focus. The “habit” of using technology grooves a pattern into our brains until at some point, we find ourselves tinkering on our cells and laptops with no recollection of when we arrived and why we started. Purposeless – zero impact. And not only that, but when we hit this place, we become numb – almost trance-like in our experience. Flat. No engagement.
Technology is amazing. Yet, it is like everything else. It requires conscious choice, intentional use, and an awareness of when enough is enough.
I’m not a texter, and I never answer the phone during a conversation. In other words, I am not consumed like so many people are in our world; making it easy for me to excuse my attachment as acceptable. But really, if you can’t meditate for 20 minutes without feeling a pull to “check in” or “get something done,” it’s time to groove a new brain pattern that is disentangled from the grip of Apple. (Nothing against Apple… we should all be so brilliant).
I’m giving myself a one week experiment. Before picking up one of my favorite toys, I’ll ask: “As the result of plugging in, am I prepared to unplug from everything else around me? Life? Family? Awareness?” For most of us, our professional success requires the use of our gadgets, and thus, the answer to this question will often be YES. And it will be a conscious YES coming from a place of intelligence and achievement versus mindless web-trolling. But just as often, I suspect I will have to honestly answer NO.
Life is too amazing & short to give away precious moments. I wonder how much extra time we would all discover in our week if we undertook this experiment? If you want to give it a shot… let me know how your week goes.