Technological advancements now put massive amounts of information right at our fingertips. There isn’t a fact or a figure that we can’t get the answer to in minutes (or seconds). We no longer have the need for research in books and journals (or conversations) and in some ways we’ve lost patience for it. We want to know what we want to know RIGHT NOW and when we can’t have that, we become anxious and irritable. How dare we have to wait for an answer? We’ve made waiting (exhibiting patience) an inconvenience.
But is having all of the world’s information readily available a good thing? Sometimes I wonder, especially when I feel like my brain has so much in it that it can’t function correctly. Information overload is a very real thing that can have serious mental consequences, but we’ve become hard wired in a way to accept it. Go without your phone for a whole day and see what I mean.
The term “Microwave Society” is such an accurate description of how we operate. We want our meals cook faster (or delivered to our door). We want the latest movies streamed right to our televisions so we don’t even have to leave the house. We no longer want to shop for anything in an actual store. Why would we when we could just order it with our phones and have it brought out to us in the parking lot? By the way, I don’t do grocery pick up … grocery shopping now that it’s just the two of us is actually fun to me.
We wear the Badge of Busy with pride, like it actually gets us something. Oh it gets us something all right. It gets us stressed, depressed, anxious, and with more physical health issues. But we continue to brag about all the things we have to get done. It sounds like a ridiculous thing to brag about, but start noticing the conversations you have with other adults, especially ones with kids still at home, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. We brag about being busy like it’s a contest.
When we even mention the idea of taking a vacation or a few days off to do nothing around the house, we’re met with a snide “well that must be nice” as if we don’t deserve to slow down and take a break.
The noise and the hum of constant motion and forced busyness has now become our soundtrack. Nature and silence feel strange to us. They make us uncomfortable, craving the constant buzz of activity, twitching in our skin to look at our phones, or post an update.
So how do we change all this? We’re just one person. We can’t change the whole world.
But, we can change OUR world.
For the next few weeks, we’re going to talk about slowing down pretty much everything we do (one thing each week). Obviously we can’t cover every single thing a person does on a daily basis, but we can plant the seed of slowness so it grows over into other areas of our lives.
Start noticing how fast you’re living. In what ways would slowing down help calm your anxious world?
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