Recently, I wrote a post about how technology may be stressing you out. If you read that post, you know that I’m a big fan of technology in moderation. After all, how could I be opposed to something that empowers people with knowledge, connects us to people far and wide, and brings laughter and entertainment into our homes (or hands!)?
I’ve been thinking lately, though, about how technology not only connects us but separates us, not just from one another, but from life itself. And when I say life, I mean the present moment. Because life happens in the present; it’s only our minds that create the illusion of the past and the future.
If you’re trying to beat depression, you may want to evaluate how often you are truly in the moment. Are you allowing yourself to really experience life, or are you constantly distracted by the buzz of a device? Could the key to beat depression be as simple as turning off your Smartphone occasionally?
Two of my four children will be playing soccer beginning next week. Like any proud mom, I’m going to be there cheering them on, and I know that I’m going to be tempted to snap as many action shots as possible. Then, it will be equally tempting to share all of these great shots on social media because now I’ve got bragging rights. I’ve decided, though, to make a conscious effort to be present during these moments. Why? Because I know that I’ve feel so much more joy by contemplating the determination in my little boy’s eyes or the sun reflecting off of my daughter’s blonde hair than by fiddling with my phone.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m all about preserving memories, but when you find yourself recording an event rather than experiencing it, it may be time to reconnect to life in the moment. Doing so can help you rediscover the beauty of life beyond the screen. Imagine having coffee with a friend without the constant interruptions of incoming emails and text messages. Many of us carry our work around with us nowadays without even realizing it. Even a moment of fear over what might happen if you don’t immediately respond to that email your boss just sent can ruin the simple joy of a chat over coffee. How many times does this happen in a day, a week, a month? If we continue to let these distractions steal our joy, then it’s no wonder that we feel depressed.
If you’re concerned about detoxing from technology, there are many meditation methods that can help you learn to experience and appreciate the present. Changing a single habit such as substituting a meditation session instead of checking your email when you first wake up can make a big difference. Once you realize the peace of being able to turn off the world and experience a truly unadulterated moment, you’ll have no problem powering down your phone to reconnect to what’s really important.