We’re Still But We’re Not.
I’m sitting in this super cozy coffee shop drinking lemon-ginger tea. I’d totally be drinking coffee, because coffee is like this warm blanket wrapped around you while sitting on a big cushy couch, but it’s almost 3PM I’ll be up all night should I fall into coffee’s beautiful lure at this hour.
Anyway, back to the cozy coffee shop.
Paul Simon’s Graceland album is on repeat.
All the tables are filled with MacBooks and mugs of steaming brews & I’m doing my part to contribute to the scene here.
Half the fun is people watching and everyone in a while I look up and scan my fellow Sunday-afternoon-cozy-coffee-shop-goers.
Some are talking with each other.
Some are engrossed in their MacBooks (even though there is no Wi-Fi here).
And some are on their phones.
The phone is part of each demographic – the MacBookers, the solo-sippers and those here with others.
I’m guilty of that sometimes. We all are. That little handheld device has quite the allure. It’s like this invisible leash, calling to us from our pockets…just one swipe to see ‘what’s up’.
Has anyone reached out? Has anyone responded?
Is there something new? There is? Oooohhh…exciting. I better respond. Or not exciting….ignore.
Nothing? Oh bummer. Maybe in a few minutes there will be something.
Or I can always check something else.
The social media channels always have something to check, consume, catch up on.
Our phones are a source of constant stimulus and we are programmed to respond to stimuli.
There is this guy and girl to my right who are just sitting at their table sipping and scrolling on their phone. The guy and girl are talking and thumb-scrolling. Some of their attention towards their conversation and the rest (most?) towards their phones.
It’s so habitual we don’t even notice it. We’re moving between between apps, content, media and conversations.
But we are not moving at all. It’s like we’re perfecting this still form of attention deficit disorder.
A bunch of stuff is getting a little bit of our attention and as a result, we don’t actually get anything out of a bunch of stuff.
And that is a total bummer. It’s actually a total loss.
Our energy, our time, our minds, our beings are all finite. And when we live like this it’s like we’re not getting the most out of our finite selves.
I’ve had a couple instance where I have totally given up my phone. These time periods have spanned a few days, and they’ve spanned weeks.
And here is my learning – It feels really good. And I didn’t miss anything.
While this may not be actual meditation where I sit on my pillow and think about my breath, it is about being present. It is about slowing down. It’s about not practicing still-ADD.
Try it. Just for a bit. Give one thing your total attention. And be well.