Are you a slave to your smartphone ? | 21st Century Anxiety.
How many times have you lost your smartphone today ?
Did it drive you into a sense of Panic and fear ?
Have you read anything on social media that made you Sad, Anxious or even Depressed ?
Have you ever stopped a face to face conversation, because you just had to answer a call or reply to a text ?
The introduction of new technology has undoubtably makes some aspects of life easier. However it has also has introduced new ways to get stressed and new problems to get sad about. Its no coincident that over the last 20 years people have become unhappier, and feelings of worthlessness and insignificance are on the increase.
The problem is not the technology itself, but how we use it and our dependancy on it.
To want to connect and attach with others is natural. However constantly being in touch has meant that we can be easily overwhelmed with the expectations and demands of others. This causes a background Anxiety to many aspects of our lives.
Previously, others had to wait before they could crash into your life with issues. Often, this pause meant that issues had time to calm and settle. The sting of a situation had a chance to calm before being passed onto others. However now we can be quickly and seamlessly brought into someone else’s fiery furnace instantly. Usually without regard for the present moment, and what we are experiencing ourselves.
This has contributed to creating a culture of immediacy and urgency, and the smartphone has become the ultimate symbol of this. So much so in fact that the physical item itself causes stress. You can observe the look of panic and despair on peoples faces as they scramble to see which pocket or in which bag they have put their phone. You can Feel their worry about the battery going flat, or accidentally leaving their phone somewhere.
It is sometimes difficult to feel that we have a choice in this. We have got used to feeling the expectations and obligations of others. Its hard to imagine the freedom of not automatically taking emotional and practical issues from others and ‘wearing them’ . And many have forgotten the delight of just being happy in the moment we are in. Delighting in the people who are present with us in that moment. This is what is meant by Letting go. Letting go requires us to make a choice to put away emotional obligation and guilt, and live our own lives, instead of living the lives of others around us.
Mobile phones have become essential parts of our lives. However recently I have purposefully turned my phone off for hours at a time. It has been a liberating experience. Try it, and turn your full attention to where you are and who you are with.