Screen Time Dulls Sensations

It’s so easy to get sucked into technology. Waiting in the grocery store line? Why don’t I check my email. Unwinding from work? Let’s check out some Netflix episodes. Don’t want to do your actual work on your computer? Why not scroll through Facebook for a little while. I started out convincing myself that this was a good use of downtime, but it quickly consumes large chunks of my day. Why do I need to check all my apps 100 times a day? I don’t. So why do I do it?

There’s comfort in the numbness. When I’m staring into a screen I don’t feel any of the uncomfortable sensations in my body. With a phone I can avoid all the awkwardness of a typical day. The problem is that the discomfort doesn’t go away. It merely dips below the surface. All of these screen simply allow us to avoid our reality. Yet even with this intellectual understanding and a daily meditation practice, I still get sucked into the internet vortex. My subconscious mind has learn this basic strategy to evade pain and simply takes over. I need to work at cutting myself off.

Technology can make our lives easier and more efficient. I don’t want to lose those benefits, but I don’t want to forget to live. I want to create time for deep meaningful conversations, but those opportunities are becoming less common. Maybe I need to leave my phone at home or simply turn it off. Maybe I need to cancel my Netflix. Or maybe I just need to work a little harder to create meaningful interactions. Phones have taken over all our lives and I’m not sure what to do about it. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

In March of 2010 I discovered a path to peace and happiness through a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. After establishing my personal practice, and witnessing how it changed my way of life, I'm now curious to explore how the growing community of meditators can help to support each other and make the world a better place.
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