We live in a fast paced time, full of stimuli, comfort and ease. There has never been a time like what we are living in now. With information at our finger tips, whether it be useful or not, we have access to it.
The sheer amount of information, we are bombarded with, day in day out, is energy consuming. Text messages, phone calls, Whatsapp, Skype, video messages, snaps, gifs, pictures, tv, radio, music all this abstract information that seeps into our lives, our minds, our subconscious being.
Then there’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram desperately seeking our attention and time, demanding we be ‘present’ in the social media world. If you are offline for over 24 hours, alarm bells are ringing, people start to panic, something has happened to you! You could just be having a bad day or presumably busy, but if you are offline you are not connected, you are not even alive, some would assume.
You have to be ‘seen’ on media having a presence, always posting, performing, to be known as doing something successful. We live in an artificial reality of superficial frivolity. Showing all the frills of a highly edited airbrushed life, far from angst and struggle, no blips or bloopers.
I have started to turn away from all of this, as I can see, not only is it damaging my self, it’s also negatively impacting the eyes that watch me, my children. With every little moment, they have learnt to reach for my phone, trying to capture everything, rather than actually live the moment and have fun like no ones watching.
How was it when we didn’t have phones and we didn’t have camera’s attached to our hands?
No one was really interested in what we ate in the morning.
Were we not living? Were we not having fun? Were we not successful?
I would argue we were more focused on our goals and mindful of the people around us. We could hold a decent length of conversation without being disturbed by noisy notifications by messages that were one consonant long.
We had childhoods that didn’t involve videoing everything that we did. Did our parents love us any less?
Were we always incessantly concerned about what others were doing throughout their day?
Our society is obsessed with the lives of the successful, be it socialites, celebrities, sport stars, YouTubers. Anybody can be famous, but what are they famous for? What are you willing to lose by being famous? Your real friends for millions of fake friends? Your identity? Your privacy? Your time?
Its time we reclaim our privacy, reevaluating our sense of being yourself for yourself, not seeking others comments and approval. To be lost in your thoughts and not have to share every brain fart with the world hoping it will go viral.
Silence the noise and the information overload and get in touch with your inner voice, it is being muted by this constant news feed and by the ‘like’ driven posts.
This mindless interaction with information needs to stop. Social media is making us over stimulated, to the point where it desensitises us to the sensation of disgust, shock and the power to act. The news feed that we scroll through often contains many devastating images we can’t bare to witness. We scroll past it fast because we cannot see it a second longer, we scroll and we scroll, till we get to something more appetising, something that makes us feel good or numbs our brain into feeling anything. But what of the disturbing picture, does that no longer exist? It’s still there, people are still suffering, but we don’t want to deal with that, we just want the cheap thrills and frills.
The creeping feeling of societies numbness, of not being shocked by what we see and read, is very disturbing, we are being disarmed of our voice. If we have no empathy towards each other, how can we stand up for one another? Its time to stop. Its time to stop this, with urgency and reflect who is this hurting? Those people are suffering physically but our heart is already dead!
Being mindful, takes care of not just your outer beauty and aesthetics, but the true beauty that is neglected by social media, which needs the most amount of work and attention, your inner self.
The care you can give to yourself, no one else can. Listening to your inner most thoughts, you will always be true to yourself and not get swept up with any current hype. Regularly check in on yourself and question your actions and intentions, how is it developing you, are you going in a direction you want to.
Its time to have theses questions with yourself, put the hand break on heedlessness because the reality is, we will all die, and as morbid as it seems, how do you want to remembered. If you want to be remembered at all, live an epic life and leave behind a legacy. Work on it, not for other people’s praise, but so that your work, that you carved away at during your life, can be carried on once you are gone.
Make sure you are benefiting society, and humanity and not hindering it by going along like a lost sheep, because even lost sheeps are part of the problem. By shutting off your brain and letting others decide on how life should be is a big problem. Stand up and be counted, make sure you are at the table, make life decisions.
You may say, stop being so uptight, it doesn’t hurt anyone really. We’re just having fun, living in the moment, not thinking about tomorrow, yolo and all.
Who are you fooling? Are you living the moment by taking hundred selfies so you can capture the light, the angle, minus all the people? Are you enjoying the sight and smells of the place? Are you failing to hold eyes with the little child who watches you do all these things?
Chilling fact is whether we have children or not, we fail to see that we are all connected, and our behaviour effects the society, the community the neighbourhood we live in whether we want to accept it or not.
Social media is so huge and so fast, that it doesn’t take a day for something to go viral, which means the whole world knows about something, be it a message, a thought, an idea good or bad, we have greater influence over people more than we think to take responsibility for.
Stop and reclaim that beating heart and do not let it die in the hands of social media.
Wake up and thank the powers of be that you are waking up to other day.
Wake up and be thankful that you have been given another taste of life, what will you do with it?
Wake up and think that what things can make this day great for you, for the people around you?
What can I do that can make my yesterday more better?
It can be as simple as I will smile at every person that I go past today.
I will keep my calm with my kids.
I will make an effort to get to know my neighbours.
Cut out the noise, don’t always feel the need to fill up your head with something. Just breathe and be. It might feel awkward and even meaningless at first. But the very reason why you feel it is awkward, meaningless and time consuming is exactly why you need it. You qualify, so just do it!
Make breakfast, that in itself is mindful, instead of grabbing and going, make it yourself.
Already make breakfast? Ok hot shot, try making it with no white noise, just be in the moment of making breakfast and now think how grateful you are at having food of your own choosing.
Wash the dishes and be thankful that you have a family to feed and you have for in your bellies be in the moment without having a million other things going on. be thankful for the clean running water you have.
Put your phone away, eat your nutritious food, this a opportunity to be one with your self, have little one to one with your inner thoughts, who is being shoved to the back of the line.
- Reintroduce yourself to yourself it might seem awkward because you have neglected yourself so long, talk to yourself you’ve been waiting to hear from you. You now have centre stage and no one is watching you, you can be free to think and develop how you like.
- Do you like who you are and if you don’t why not? Tell yourself you’re amazing and you have so much value to give. Be your own cheerleader, you don’t need anyone else to tell you how unique you are, and how much you matter, the 100+ likes can wait.
- Care for others, help others, yes think about your well-being but don’t be self absorbed. Facebook, Twitter and all the other social platforms promote the ‘me me me’ generation. Hey look at what I’m doing, what I’m wearing, what I’m enjoying, its all doing but not actually doing much.
- How about you take care of someone and not tell a soul, now that is really caring for that person, genuinely and also taking care of your mental health, because that buzz of helping someone can not be told, only be felt. Word.
What mindful living looks like?
Once you become mindful you start being more aware of your surroundings.
You are more intune with yourself.
You are more aware of what you see, read, hear, watch and witness. You live with intent and purpose. You are mindful or what your kids watch, eat, see and hear.
You are more sensitive to others, you are more open to others. You value peoples time and not their likes. You cherish relations and not fleeting thrills.
Well once you become mindful you realise the power in yourself and not in others. You reclaim your voice. You become activists, humanists, vocalists. Reclaim your inner worth and the gift you have that you want to share with the world without being glory hunters.
You seek to be a positive influence on people with everyone you meet. You echo oneness with the universe and unity with all. You pick up litter, you buy a hybrid, and go paperless.
Ok maybe not all that, thats wishful thinking, but its a start, to a life long journey of mindful living. The point being the list is endless.
So do you unplug yourself? Which pill do you take the red or blue pill? Its your call.