This morning when I was out on my run I saw some young teenagers waiting for their school bus. Rather than talking they were standing about 2 meters apart and they had their eyes glued to their phone screens. I thought in a way it was really sad, they were missing out on a perfect time to socialise in person.
Then tonight when Noah got home from pre school he asked if he could watch some Octonauts until tea time. I agreed that he could on the condition that he stopped when I told him it was time to eat. That is always the problem we have, when it is time to stop he is so engrossed that he gets upset and it all becomes difficult, he seems to loose all perspective. It is no longer just a programme.
As I watched him watching the screen tonight I realised how engrossed he was. Just like the teenagers waiting for the bus this morning. If i’m honest I know that I can get drawn into it too. Sometimes i will check Facebook before bedtime and before I know it another 20 minutes have slipped by. We can all become zombie like when something on the screen competes for our attention, it is hard to resist.
So becoming more mindful in our online life can be difficult but we could probably all do with it. Everything on there is made to grab our attention and then to keep it. We get sucked in.
Obviously there are times when it is fine to enjoy watching something or looking something up on line. What we all need to be careful of is that we are maintaining our free will and that we can make the decision to switch off when we want or need to.
So what is the magic answer? How do we maintain awareness of the here and now whilst also watching the screen?
Blinking is the perfect tool. It happens regularly, it is always there and always going on whilst we are awake and using our eyes. It happens even when we are online. Try to build your awareness of blinking. Notice each blink.
Becoming blink aware works really well. Awareness of the blink only takes a small amount of attention so there is plenty left for the screen content. What it does do is also maintain your awareness of the here and now. By becoming blink aware you avoid being totally sucked in to the online world. You can watch, benefit and keep perspective, perfect.
Come on a Revitalise day to learn more ways to make your every day more mindful. On a day retreat you will learn more methods to put you in complete control of your actions and to make your life happier and more balanced.