Finding Zen in the Digital World
“This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” - Alan Watts
Tuning out the digital chaos can certainly be a challenge. With multiple screens, networks and devices at our fingertips, it’s no wonder that we’re constantly posting, liking and clicking — it’s pretty much second nature.
Realizing how much time we spend “logged in” so to speak, may come as a surprise to many of us, and at what expense? Is digital culture truly the new normal?
How do we center ourselves, maintain our identities and reach our goals through all the clutter? Curtailing over-zealous tech use is definitely an exercise in restraint, but one we ought to instill in ourselves when appropriate.
A clear mind and rich, fulfilling life with AND without tech should be something we all enjoy.
Screen Free Zone
Actively preventing yourself from engaging with your devices is similar to being on a diet. Just say no to that sweet, sweet social media — at least for awhile. All things in moderation, right?
Whether you designate one day per week to spend screen-free or even just cut yourself off after 5pm, it’s a great excuse to use this time for personal reflection, spending time with family and friends or doing tactile things — all without referring to Google.
Keeping Goals in Perspective
With online news and information moving at lightening speed, it’s easy to get dragged into the news cycle to an obsessive degree.
Similarly, social media can suck us in for hours on end; reading updates, liking photos and maybe even arguing with strangers about politics — anything goes.
With so much to do and experience online, it’s possible for your digital persona to mesh a little too well with real life. Don’t go down the rabbit hole.
It’s imperative to keep your long-term personal and career goals in perspective, because while you’re Netflixing and chilling life could be passing you by.
Experience the World
Next time you’re snapping that next great Instagram pic, maybe stop before you start. Everyone has a natural instinct to want to share their happiest moments and celebrate beauty, but at what point are we worrying more about how many likes we’re getting vs. experiencing something profound?
Next time you’re out and about or traveling, try powering down your devices and living life pre-iPhone style. Engage with people, notice the details, enjoy real sensory experiences and lose the need to constantly be connected to something that isn’t in the actual moment.
Finding your zen definitely doesn’t involve push notifications. Giving yourself mental space is just as important as being informed and connected.
So, when the news cycle is spinning and the Twitter alerts are popping, find your own personal way to filter it all. Striking a balance is not as hard as it seems, it just takes a bit of self awareness to realize how much time you spend clicking vs. living.
Take a deep breath, relax, and swipe to power down.