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Your Phone Is Ruining Your Life

Colin Stuckert

 

"Beware the barrenness of a busy life."

-Socrates

Something I thought about today is how people (myself included) love to tell other people how “busy” they are.

We wear our “businesses” proudly as a badge of honor. 

Sure, we are often pretty damn busy. But whose fault is that? Our own, of course: We fill our schedules with social events, cooking, cleaning, working, and after all that, if we’re lucky, some leisurely time to relax.

I notice that I become stressed and anxious when I feel rushed. When I’m bouncing around from thing to thing, I feel like I don’t get as much done and I feel like I’m missing a lot of the journey, which I try to make a point of enjoying.

I think busyness does this (and so does Socrates, apparently).

One thing I do to combat busyness is to have blocks of time where I turn my phone and all notifications off and focus. Sometimes this is to relax, like at a movie, and other times its when I’m working. This helps my brain focus and not feel rushed or distracted. 

Research shows that it can take as much as 23 minutes to get back to the same mental state we were interrupted. 23 minutes. Damn.

I think notifications are one of the most prevalent interruptions in our society that contribute to feelings of anxiousness and stress and to a “busy” life.

Go to dinner with anyone under the age of 30 and you’ll see exactly what I mean. The new trend is to keep phones on the table face up so the phone owner can be notified of notifications the second they come in. This is, in my opinion, a really bad thing. It’s not only a rude thing to do when you are out with people, but it’s also just terrible for your mental state.

Notifications train you to have ADD. Your brain is always searching for that “distraction” and wondering if someone or something needs your attention. As a result, you think about it throughout your day.

This makes it harder to focus. It also makes you anxious and stressed. You probably don’t realize either.

There is one good thing to our constantly “busy” and “notified” society, and it’s this:

It’s a huge opportunity for me, the guy that'll turn his phone off and work.

And I’ll leave it at that.

(Turn off damn phone and open your eyes and ears to see and hear the beauty in front of you.)