S he opened her eyes slightly to take a peak at the large window covered in willowy fabric as white and as soft as the clouds.
She pulled her blankets with both hands, bringing it close to her chin, and letting out a big sigh upon seeing the earliest light of day. A sigh that sounded louder at a time when the rest of the world seems to still be sleeping.
She can’t help wondering why it can’t be like this everyday, especially during workdays. It seems like her body is keeping tabs of what day it is, making it hard for her to wake-up on days when she needs to be ready before traffic gets bad getting into the city.
To shake off the thought of work on a day when she’s supposed to be relaxing, she decided it’s time to get out of bed. She made her way out of the bedroom, tip-toeing her way to the kitchen. Being as careful as she can be to not to make any sound along the way.
In the kitchen, she opened one of the cupboards to take out her favorite mug, the one she got from Sweden.
After filling her moka pot filter with perfectly measured scoops of ground coffee, she leveled off the surface with her fingers. Then, she boiled fresh water first in the kettle and after removing it from the heat and letting it stand for a few minutes, she placed enough water to the bottom of the pot.
She started brewing her coffee using moderate heat. She closed her eyes as she dedicated her senses to the sound of puffing and the aroma that eventually filled the air.
A Lifestyle of Media Consumption
This can be a typical morning for either you or me. But do feel that there’s something missing here?
There’s no mention of a smartphone, or a tablet computer. There was even no television or radio.
These days, it is not uncommon to use technology devices in everything we do. We use it as an alarm clock, to access messages or emails, and to read and watch the news and entertainment.
You are almost always connected and consuming media. It has become part of our lifestyle.
Depriving Others and Yourself
As a result of our reliance to technology devices, it’s becoming more and more of a challenge to find pleasure by simply being in the company of others or by being by ourselves.
It is not uncommon to see groups of people having dinner together in restaurants, but instead of having lively conversations, many have their heads bowed down, looking at their phones.
I also find myself struggling with being alone with my own thoughts. While I find joy in having alone time, I always find the need to listen or watch something. It feels uncomfortable to just sit down or go for a walk and just think.
It almost feels like all the noise is necessary to be able to function.
Always being connected or consuming media is depriving your loved ones the quality time they could spend with you.
You’re also depriving yourself with the opportunity to be alone with your own thoughts.
Keeping Up with the Joneses
Through social media and all other forms of media, you are presented with an idealized view of other people’s lives. You see their achievements and successes, or the new revolutionary and cool products that they have.
But most of the time, what you are being presented is unrealistic and engineered for you to want to emulate. The goal is for you to try to keep up with the Joneses. This is despite us knowing the truth about money and possessions.
According to Seth Godin, the real effect is:
Every time TV and social media become significant time sinks in a household, pleasure goes up and happiness goes down.
Give Yourself a Break
Give yourself a break from being always being connected and consuming media. Spend quality time with your loved ones or go for a quiet walk without distraction. Give yourself time to unplug. It should only be good for you.
Godin, Seth. “The Engine of Our Discontent.” Seth Godin, October 12, 2017, https://seths.blog/2017/10/the-engine-of-our-discontent/.