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Touch a Screen or Touch Reality

Perhaps, I am being overly dramatic but it seems to me that we – as a species – have entered the age when we are far more likely to forget our kids in a hot car than forget our smart-phones.

Indeed, we have become inseparable from our “devices.” We have become a species of absent-minded, techno-distracted zombies. We no longer notice each other. We maladaptivly jaywalk with our minds buried in our so-called smart-phones. We can’t even go to the bathroom without thumbing through meaningless Facebook posts. We check email with greater diligence than we check in on our kids. While we still remember to walk our dogs, we hardly look at them; instead we pause on sidewalks in random places, in search of the right emoji as we respond to a trivial text. We’ve lost the reaction time on intersections as we bury ourselves in our phones instead of watching the streetlight turn green. I could continue on with endless examples but what’s the point? You know what I am talking about …

We are losing touch with reality, while constantly holding hands with a mostly useless gizmo.

Your choice is: to touch each other or to touch your screen; to hold your kid’s hand or to hold a phone in your hand; to be in actual physical touch with What Immediately Is or to be using a virtual opposable thumb online to rubber-stamp another pic of someone’s lunch with your half-hearted approval.

In losing touch with Reality, we are losing touch with ourselves.

If so, – and I think it is – the reverse is also true: by getting in touch with Reality, we stand to rediscover ourselves.

[excerpt from “From Skinthink to Kinthink: Birth and Death of Duality” (Somov, 2012]

Touch a Screen or Touch Reality

Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the author of 7 mindfulness-based self-help books. Several of his books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch & Portuguese. Somov is on the Advisory Board for the Mindfulness Project (London, UK). Somov has conducted numerous workshops on mindfulness-related topics and appeared on a number of radio programs. Somov's book website is and his practice website is

Marla Somova, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the co-author of "Smoke Free Smoke Break" (2011).

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APA Reference
Somov, P. (2017). Touch a Screen or Touch Reality. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 13, 2020, from


Last updated: 10 Nov 2017
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