Mindful Monday: Addicted to your cellphone + social media? This is my experience…
When I was away at the silent meditation retreat last month I didn’t have access to my cell phone for 10 days. That’s the longest I’ve ever gone without it!
I handed it in when I arrived on day one and by day 10, I had made some really interesting observations around my thoughts and behaviours with my phone and social media use.
For the first two days, I noticed how, out of the blue, I would start looking for my phone so I could check my messages. I became aware that I did this when I felt bored, irritated or had a feeling that I couldn’t possibly meditate anymore.
I wanted a distraction or something to fill the discomfort, void or boredom I was feeling.
It was a craving – and during our retreat, we were practicing non-attachment, and observing when we had a craving or an aversion to anything. I saw the attachment to my phone loud and clear.
Interestingly enough, after day three it wasn’t even on my mind anymore. And it actually felt like a huge relief to be completely unplugged.
I know I’m not alone. Canadians are plugged in big time…
Research in 2017 shows that we are spending an average of 24.5 hours per week surfing the web and on social media. Canadians between the ages of 18 to 34 spend an average of 34 hours per week. Holy cow that’s a lot of time!
The interesting thing is we call it ‘social’ media. But I wonder, how social is it? When we spend more time on our phones and computer, we spend less time communicating face-to-face and cultivating deeper real-life relationships.
Social media isn’t bad. I think it’s really useful on so many levels. For me, it's about balance and why I am using it. So I'm curious to explore this more - and have fun while I am doing it.
It's not about right or wrong. I am simply intrigued.
When I am drawn to it? How do I feel? Am I escaping or simply checking my messages and enjoying the moment?
Being unplugged for 10 days was a very enlightening and beneficial experience for me. Yeah, I survived!
And the journey of self-discovery continues...