“We are now exposed to as much data in a single day than someone in the 15th century would be in their entire lifetime”.
I have seen this written in many places. I am not sure how accurate it is as I have been unable to find the original source, but I think it’s fair to say that we are exposed and I would almost go as far as to say bombarded with information constantly. The internet is a wonderful thing and I absolutely adore social media, however I have to ask, are we becoming overstimulated? I will be the first to put my hand up and say I am guilty of being overstimulated and yet feeling so very disconnected from always being so connected! It seems to be getting worse, at least to me anyway. Ask yourself – when was the last time you sat and waited for something or someone without picking up a device? Look around the airport, doctors offices, shopping centres wherever you go – we are constantly seeking external stimulation, we have forgotten how to sit and be. Maybe you had to sit because your phone had gone flat, but have you done it by choice? I have seen statistics that show we check our smart phones an average of 110 times a day.
I have even now discovered myself checking status updates at the traffic lights to kill those few seconds while I wait for the lights to change. Really – I can’t just with myself for a few minutes? Facebook is my main temptress and one of the first things I do when I wake is check for the little red notifications at the top of my screen that bring me morning joy. How many of us are distracted the second we hear the ping of a notification or instant message whether text or an app.
I am also a big fan of real communication and one of the greatest tragedies for me in this era is the death of humans talking with each other, either face to face (for me with many cuppas) or on the phone (actually cuppas work here too). A text is convenient for sure, but nothing beats a good verbal convo for me.
We have forgotten what it is like to be bored. Boredom is necessary, our brains need time to just switch off for a while. Why do you think we have some of our best thoughts in the shower? I know I do anyway. We have to ask ourselves why that is. It is the only quiet place our mind gets to do some processing. Boredom can develop into thinking, which in turn spurs creativity. Without creativity we may as well be machines.
So, what can we do about it? I still plan to use Facebook and other social media as I really do enjoy it and through it I have made some amazing friends from all over the world and maintained contact with friends I have made here and afar. My husband and I also work from home operating several businesses that have Facebook pages, so it is also my workplace, and partly my office.
This is my plan:
- Limit my social media use to a specified time in the morning and again in the evening.
- Log out of my three devices at the end of each session.
- Turn notifications off.
- Use calm box for my email.
- Start having switch off Sundays.
- Read more books.
- Start weekly games nights.
Anyone else with me? Give me a call or come over for a cuppa – I am always up for a good chat with tea!