It's a new month so for me it's about setting new intentions and goals. I have decided to set goals each month as apposed to a whole year - that way I can carry incomplete goals over to a new months and smash them! (Hopefully).
I have been thinking a lot about the pace of life and how its generally pretty busy with just the basics and if you throw into the mix friends, family, relationships, hobbies, celebrations, etc, etc time is really limited.... and then, you add your phone. That mobile piece of connectivity heaven that is always there for you and provides endless info, support and entertainment. But the thing is, how much time does your phone really take up and how attached have we become to having them in our lives?
Don't get me wrong to live in an era where we have so much interaction and the ability to be connected and be informed instantly is pretty epic! What is not epic is the amount of pointless and unproductive hours clocked up spending too much time scrolling through Instagram of mindlessly clicking on twitter links. Sure, there is a time and a place and for a lot of people its pretty essential to their jobs as well. But the mindless part is something I have started to notice.
If you went out for dinner with your partner and spent 3min taking several photo's of your meal, another 4min choosing a filter and then an additional 2min uploading it and then checking the "like" notification - you have essentially wasted almost 10min of meaningful eye contact with your loved one on your phone.
A big goal for me in 2016 is to be more "present". I like this word because I think it is an accurate reflection of how over saturated and stimulated we are by our phones and the endless information that we almost become addicted to consuming.
Worse than that - the obsession with reply to email and whatsapp instantaneously. Why? Why do we do it? If its not a life threatening emergency do we have to reply just because we saw two little blue ticks notifying us that someone read a message or replying straight away regardless of where you are and what situation you are in?
I have started thinking of it like this. If you went to a family gather, friends braai, a dinner date, a coffee catch up, a walk with a friend, anything really social - can you imagine if you whipped open a book and started reading it? It would be the rudest thing ever and you would look like a royal idiot doing it. But yet here we are - buried in our phones and heightened by every notification and beep with the urge to check a message followed by checking every single social media platform and possibly losing hours of life.
Worse is the fact that a lot of it is drivel, it lacks informative, positive and powerful wording and it breeds very little intellect. Yup I am guilty of it 100 percent. While I am waiting for something to boil on the stove I am suddenly scrolling through Kayla's feed and 20mins have gone by when I could have spent 20min doing a HITT work out or washing the dishes. Lost my iPod - great with use my phone, and take pictures with it while I walk through a beautiful park and upload and edit pictures of my walk and oh - reply to messages because "must do it now" and probably check my emails at the same time because "hey - why not!" and get home and not actually remember anything beautiful about the walk.....because of my phone. I did a little calculation of how much I am spending on data ....oh my word. I am beyond embarrassed!
By far the worst phone moment - I walked into my yoga class and put my bag down rolled out my mat and instead of lying down and meditating before we start the class, what am I doing? Oh you know - just quickly informing the world that I am at yoga and won't be contactable for awhile.... WHY!!!!!!!!!!
Time is really of an essence and when we start becoming less present it becomes evident to the people in our lives. Friendships and relationships become harder to connect to and empathy, support, joy and actual engagement with others become harder because we are constantly plagued by the urge to pick up the damn phone. It is in essence, a modern day affliction and addiction that needs to be managed.
I am not saying lets all burn our phones and communicate via smoke signals or not have a Instagram binge scroll session of quotes or dream holiday destinations. I am just saying be present - more present than you think you are.
Be there and listen and engage with the moment, the person, the place and the experience your phone can wait - and trust me if it is an emergency you will know about it.
You don't need to be a best friend to your phone you need to be a best friend to yourself and the other kind humans who engage with you and care about being a part of your life.
I decided to create a 7 day Mindful Digital Detox to assist with the modern day affliction of having a phone! I think even if we think we are not addicted to our phones - in some small way we are and sometime it's nice to take a step back! If you are keen to join in or can relate in any way and have some tips to add - please comment below :)