Looking Ahead With Lauren: Mindfulness in a World of Technology

too-much-technologyTake a look next time you’re eating a delicious meal at a restaurant, waiting in line, at the movies or even at a party. I’ll bet you that 90% of these people are staring at their cell phones. In fact, I used to have a friend that would constantly text other people while we were hanging out. It drove me nuts. Why couldn’t they just enjoy hanging out with me and engage in a conversation?

These days, our world is so plugged in. With generations like my own, we are so used to technology that we rely upon it. We forget about the days before Internet, computers, cell phones and iPads. Our attention spans have gone down to zero. There are times when I stop myself, almost shocked at my behavior while I notice that I am texting someone as I have the TV on in the background while I’m writing on my laptop and playing a game on my iPod almost simultaneously. If I’m not engaged in at least two different types of technology at once, “I’m bored”. I’ve tried to give myself limits on my constant use, but find myself forgetting and logging onto Facebook to see what’s “new” or texting someone to see what they’re doing.

What if we changed to a more mindful way of living? What if we awarded hours or even days to “no technology”? We shut our phones off when we went to lunch with a friend? We turned off our laptops and vowed not to check our emails after 7 p.m.? Gasp!

I’ll admit, if I try this, there will be times when this would be excruciating. Okay, perhaps that is a bit of a strong word, but can you imagine hours without technology? Your mind starts to wander… what will I do?

But as I challenge myself and I challenge you, make a list of things you love to do that don’t involve technology and make a goal to swap out watching that rerun for the fifth time for something on your list.

For example, I think my list would definitely include reading, going for a walk with a friend, getting my nails done or doing them myself, getting dinner with a friend, watching a sporting event live, etc.

What do you think? Are you guilty of being too reliant on technology and wish you weren’t? What would your list of fun activities that don’t involve technology look like?

For more, visit my blog, Lauren’s Thoughts.

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