It is Saturday afternoon in my little area of the world. The temperature is 88. Clear sky, bright, and sunny. No rain over the past several days.
My husband is working. With the exception of a visit with my son Paul and his family who came over in the late morning for a brief visit. It is a quiet and restful day.
Everyone in the family is well and adjusting to the new school year.
I’ve thought a little about simple living or living a simple life that I’d written about in last Sunday’s Salon.
My first thought in reference to simple living is having less distractions.
Distraction means to draw away the mind and attention to another direction. To draw in conflicting direction; create conflict or confusion.
When I think about the greatest distraction in my life it is the iPhone, iPad, laptop, television, and social media.
I’ve asked a few questions:
- How often do notification alerts sound?
- How often do I look at these devices?
- What can I do to make changes?
At least with the television I turn it on and off and there are no notification alerts to draw away my attention.
Back in the day when people only had a landline with a corded telephone, few calls were telemarketers or strangers, most were people we knew.
While reading or doing art, my attention is drawn away from what I’m working on because of a notification alert sound. I’m hesitant to keep the phone on no sound because what if I get an important call or text.
If I am sitting, then I am looking at a gadget like iPhone or iPad.
Why do I always need some kind of stimulation?
Is it possible to sit for 15 minutes and relax without a tech gadget nearby?
There is great pleasure gained from being able to sit, relax, and take a deep breath.
Somewhere along the way I have forgotten how to relax.
Is the checking of phones, tablets, and scrolling through social media a form of escape?
If asked, can we name the things we want to escape from? It is going to be a long list.
To an extent we read and take vacation and do other hobbies and activities that help us, and in an enjoyable way, to escape from the stresses of life. But when the escape takes us away from engaging with people and life overall, that is a problem. Because essentially, we are checking out.
A favorite memory of mine is my parents went for a 30-minute walk after supper every night. Then they sat in a porch swing together. They’d have conversations about their children, church, dad’s job, other family, friends, neighbors, and current world events. But sometimes they were silent. sitting beside one another, shoulder to shoulder, swinging in unison and unity.
My answer for this topic is to have boundaries. I have implemented some boundaries. Simple things. For example, no social media on my phone or pad except Pinterest. I only look at Pinterest before bed. I have a planned and timed spot in the day where I sit and do nothing. I set the owl kitchen timer for 15 minutes. During that time, I take deep breathes, lay my head back, and relax. On purpose, I leave my phone in another room. The downside of that is I forget where I placed that darn phone.
Are techie gadgets and social media taking us too far away from not dealing with the stresses of life and community?
The Sunday Salon is hosted by Readerbuzz.