Shortage of time became one of the most common problems in the Western world. We are so afraid of missing out on some information that we have lost the ability to filter it. We read everything that seems even remotely interesting. We constantly click on the links from that initial content only to be taken to more content, more clicks and even more content. From time to time we get frustrated and disable our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account only to experience the worst withdrawal ever and quickly reopen our outlet to the information highway.
I’ve heard my friends say that they are so addicted to Facebook and Instagram that they have missed appointments, flights, failed their deadlines at work – all because they couldn’t peel themselves away from the screen.
It’s not just FOMO that makes us dive deeply into social media. It’s a vicious cycle of sorts. The more we get immersed into our screens, the less human interaction we have. As a result, we feel more and more lonely without our phones and laptops. Chasing away loneliness, we become completely engrossed in this false reality, forgetting about the real one. The cycle goes on and on, like a huge wave we can’t run away from.
Over the years, people have come up with many ways to try and beat this addiction by suggesting to “live in the moment”, to bond with nature. They even wrote meditation apps! J Here’s what worked for me:
v Go for a walk by yourself wherever you like: around the block, on the beach, up and down the hill, etc. Take your phone with you.
v Walk only until you feel the urge to look at your phone to check your likes, messages or any other social media stuff.
v Stop and look around you trying to notice things you haven’t noticed before: the color of the roof on a house across the street, a broken piece of pavement, a bunch of flowers blooming where they weren’t yesterday or last week.
v Start walking again while trying to come up with a short story about each thing. Think about why they happened – who might have broken that piece of pavement, why might the roof be that specific color, etc.
v Walk until you feel the urge again to look at your phone. Repeat the same steps as before.
Eventually, you should be able to train yourself to notice these small (or big) things all the time. They would become triggers of sorts, helping you pull your attention away from the online information deluge and bring you to the real world. You might want to try this with your friends, at a restaurant, right before you experience the urge to take a picture of your food :).