Psych Central


gadgets and devices and mindfulnessA few days ago while waking up in the morning I found myself automatically drawn to making my morning coffee and checking the email on my phone. There was my 2 year old little boy playing beside me as I sipped my warm drink. A thought popped in my mind, “Why are you checking your email when you could be enjoying your coffee and this sweet moment with your little boy next to you?” “Good question,” I replied to myself as I put down the phone and tuned into the morning.

But something interesting followed.

Because of my practice in mindfulness, my mind immediately tuned into my body and found tension in my shoulders moving down my back. I have no doubt in my mind that was a result of trying “to do” all of these things at once. As I tuned into my drink and began playing with my little boy, lightness came over me as I realized I had space to enjoy this time.

We all have these choices in life, but more often than not; most of us are turning to filling the spaces of our lives.

One client of mine came in the other day and told me that whenever he walks into a restaurant nowadays he sees people on their phones or their gaming devices, at times talking to one another, at times talking to one another and fiddling with their electronics and at times just fiddling with their electronics.

What effect is this new era of social interaction or inaction having on us? In my case, it was starting the morning with tension in my neck and down my shoulders.

There are better ways to start the day.

Of course our gadgets and social media are not bad, but let this serve as a wake-up call to all of us that at the very least allow your mornings to be your mornings. Perhaps allow your time eating with another person to be just that, eating and sharing the company of another person.

It’s almost as if many of us have gotten to a point where this is so out of the norm that we need to treat this like an experiment to see what happens. We don’t even know what it’s like “to just be” with an activity without our gadgets.

There is a time and place for everything it seems and perhaps there are time and places in our daily life without our phones, IPads, computers or gaming devices.

These are strong habits we’ve developed at this point and I’ve seen even the seemingly “most mindful” of people hooked on it.

It’s just something that would be beneficial to start playing with. This technology is here, it’s exciting, fast, and fun to be around. It’s also very depleting in ways we haven’t even explored yet. It’s as if we haven’t quite matured yet with how to really use these devices for the betterment of our health and well-being.

That’s ok, now it’s time to begin experimenting where the time and place is for the gadgets. We don’t need to be held hostage to the “Ring” of every email, text, phone call, Facebook message, and tweet.

Take back control of your life today!

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Photo by makelessnoise, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.

 


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    Last reviewed: 9 Mar 2011

APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2011). Enslaved to the Gadget? Take Back Control of Your Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 23, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2011/03/enslaved-to-the-gadget-take-back-control-of-your-life/

 

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