Life has changed so rapidly and yet we are essentially the same as ever, seeking connection, meaning and our basic needs of food, shelter, belonging and safety. As we get further removed from our essential natures and the nature around us life seems to lose clarity.
We run after anything that might fill the empty sore spots within us.
It got me thinking about the way we distract ourselves with technology and how this has become the new norm.
By norm I mean that it is so common it becomes almost invisible.
When behaviours get normalised we stop questioning them as a community or society.
Instead we accept them as the status quo until such a time as we become individually aware that a part of us is hurting. When enough people wake up to unhelpful norms, change happens!
Some norms are exceptionally hurtful to whole communities. Be it racism, sexism or homophobia, things are accepted as fine by so many people (not those who it is affecting!) when they are anything but. Thankfully there are continuing shifts to change these norms, though there is a way to go.
“Normal” use of smart phones and the internet
So let's talk about smart phones and the behaviours that are now accepted as normal.
The way people ignore each other over coffee, or even more subtle, the way we break connection with others to check a text that just came in.
The pull to check our email or Facebook at interval throughout the day and night.
Having the phone on us all day and next to us at night.
A group of friends and I have a group text set up and the majority have said they'd love to cut down the time we're online, yet for the longest time we laughed it off, occasionally tried to quit Facebook together and so on, without really taking on that it is might be more of an addiction than a quirk in our behaviour.
It just happens to be an addiction most people now have.
I have a hunch that we were all using it to escape momentarily from something we didn't want to face, even if it was just a moment of boredom.
It’s all so darn normal.
This brings me to the question: Do you have a problem? Do most of us?
Whether it's habit or what you'd call addiction, if the way you use your devices gets in the way of everyday life, it's a problem.
Maybe the first step is just to start questioning these norms...
Do they serve us? If not us, who do they serve?
The answer is often that our high use of the internet serves people making money from our attention, whether directly or indirectly.
Working out ways to have technology serve you - how to command your own attention - is both an act of defiance and an act of self-care and a precursor to peace, fulfilment and joy.
What you pay attention to in your life grows.
What are you paying attention to?
P.S. If you want to change how you relate to the beloved tech in your life, or if something else is getting in your way of being the awesome person you are, there's a smidge more time to take up my 2 for $99 deal. Two one-to-one sessions for only $99. Email me email@example.com to have a confidential and no strings chat about it. Let's play together and take your life to the next level.
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Hi, I'm Dr Lara Corr, life coach and researcher in work and wellbeing. I coach successful 30 and 40 somethings who want more fulfilling or bigger careers but doubt themselves and their options. I help them get out of their own way, find direction and go for what they really want.