Have you ever noticed what 90% of people are doing on the commute to work, or the methods in how people now communicate? It’s no longer reading the metro or calling to talk, instead it has become something increasingly common – the use of screens.

Simpler Times

Our ancestors were not lone wolves. In packs, they always hunted and gathered for food throughout early history. This along with a basic instinct to procreate is the basis for our existence – sadly. This has since changed in the present day. We don’t hunt to the same extent anymore and we have distanced ourselves from each other in the traditional sense. Yes, advances in technology are a thing to celebrate, but we need to be careful that it does not take over our lives. So what examples of everyday situations are there?

Technology through the years

Tech is getting bigger every day, it is no wonder that children have a natural curiosity and interest in devices. You jingle some keys in front of a crying infant and expect them to keep quiet?  Why not get the smartphone or tablet out, what’s the worst that could happen? How can we encourage them to go out onto the street to play when we are slaves to them ourselves? It’s probably important to encourage them to mix with other kids their age and develop social skills to keep them healthy both mentally and physically. Staying indoors and communicating largely through technology is toxic to anyone for that matter.

How about several years later in life… Who remembers a time before Tinder? Remember all those months ago? It has suddenly become a lot more acceptable to find potential partners online. Are we encouraging people not to take risks in public? Do we end up gradually losing our ability to be confident enough to engage with someone face to face? What will it be like in another 20 years? Sometimes it is good to be taken out of your comfort zone, to experience life whether it has good results or bad and learn from them.

Would you consider yourself a blue dot, where everything revolves around you, the epicentre of mankind? With apps such as Deliveroo, Netflix and Uber available, how can you blame someone for thinking everything should come to them, rather than the opposite? Let’s face it; we have all become a lot lazier. We don’t have to do as much walking around the place or work as hard to get what we want.

How many hours do you think we spend looking at what others are doing on social media? More so, why is it that we feel we must live up to the expectations of others, letting them dictate what our lives should be like? We are heading in a very ugly direction for social anxiety and depression.

Making a Change

Of course being conscious about the fact I am behind a screen right now typing, it is important to appreciate how far we have come with technology and to embrace it, although learn to use it in moderation and identify when it begins to take over our lives. Here are some small changes I think are easy to start with:

  • Do not pick up your phone immediately after waking up and avoid using social media before getting to work. This will help you free up the time for other things such as a good morning routine as David G has gone through.
  • Take a break regularly from using the computer at work. Go for a coffee or walk to the printer each time you need something rather than collecting in bulk.
  • Concentrate on using social media as more of an interest feed and limit what people are doing in their lives. Block the feed from showing repetitive trash from serial posters and like pages which interest you such as bands, sport or communities, that way you will at least see better quality content.
  • No phones at the dinner table, both inside and out of the house. It’s time to share what happened over the course of your day and also less meals on the couch in front of the TV!
  • Tired of documenting your life? It can be an exhausting task but hey, someone has to do it….right? Perhaps consider spending your time better by experiencing what is in front of you and putting the phone down. You may even begin to appreciate a life with a little more privacy.
  • Limit yourself to one hour of TV a day. We only have a small amount of hours when we get home before we go to bed. Spend this time primarily with a loved one, pastime or something without a screen; that box set will keep you entertained for longer!
  • Revert to the old school method from time to time. If you are looking to get a taxi, hail one down from the street for a change, or walk to the shops instead of getting delivery. This will not only get you out walking a little more, but help you be mindful of the luxuries we do have in life and not take them for granted.
  • Practice coming out of your comfort zone from time to time. One good method of doing this is make a rule to get to know 1 stranger at each event you go to, whether it is a birthday, business conference, or in college. Apart from giving someone the sense of inclusion, you never know who you might end up meeting!

Whatever changes you want to make, they don’t happen overnight, take it one step at a time. I hope some of this helps improve your day to day experience. So drop the selfie stick; focus on enjoying the moment without having to worry about reporting back to home base!!!

Photo credit: Matthew Henry

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