The Distraction Disease
I recently had an epiphany that rocked my world. You can be somewhere, and not really be there. What? I’ll say it again. I can be somewhere – with my family, friends, in a meeting – and not really be there – my mind is elsewhere, my fingers are twitching over the face of my iPhone ready to pounce, and my head is filled with thoughts of everything BUT the thing I’m currently supposed to be doing.
This disease of distraction is NOT being helped out by current technology, is it? Our phones have internet, email, and enough applications to keep us and our children happily occupied. TV scrolls more information on the bottom of the screen to split our attention. We have technology and connection wherever we go. And yet, why is it that we are so disconnected?
Being fully present – not as simple as it should be, sadly. I keep catching myself time and time again, letting my mind wander in the middle of a conversation. Or worse, I’m sitting down playing with my kids, and my phone is glued to my hand as I browse the internet, Twitter, or my email. Meanwhile, I’m missing things – moments that are precious in the gone-too-soon childhood of my sweet sons – and not even realizing all I’ve missed until I turn around and realize just how detached my distraction disease has made me.
So how can we fix it?
Start taking steps in the right direction. Leave your phone in the car when you go one dates, take your kids to the park, or have lunch with a friend. Limit the amount of time you spend on certain media outlets, and dedicate that time to just simply talking to someone. Good, old fashioned conversation is a dying communication form. Don’t let it go the way of the bell bottom pant! Sit down, look someone in the eye, and really, really talk. The vast amount of connection available to us in modern technology is only a cheap substitute for the real thing. We need connection with real, live people. It’s ingrained in us and part of what makes us tick.
Today, put down your phone and connect with someone. Commit yourself to being fully present with each and every person you encounter. It will change your life for the better. I’ll pray for you in this challenging endeavor, if you’ll pray for me. Together, we can do this!