We seem to live in a world with constant stimulus. There is always something that grabs our attention. Our minds are always preoccupied with one activity, thought or distraction. Our cellphones have become an extension of ourselves, almost a necessity to life itself. We are constantly checking all our social media outlets to show off what we are doing, see what everyone else is doing and what is happening in the world. I will be the first to admit that I am constantly checking my notifications on Facebook, or Instagram. When I have time to spare while I am waiting for something, or on break at work, I often look to my phone for a source of entertainment or to pass the time. I do not know when this transition occurred, when I felt that it was necessary to constantly be connected to the internet and other people in some way. Our cell phones are truly an extension of ourselves; the name “iPhone” is not just a coincidence! It makes it so the phone is ours, a part of who we are a necessity.
Social Medias are supposed to bring us together, and at times, they do. We have connected with many people through this community, and have been able to reach out and help others, and raise money for various organizations. So in a sense, they are a very positive aspect in our society. However, they are also doing a great job of isolating us from each other, and the natural world. There is a constant connection to others online, and any bit of information is available essentially at your fingertips. However, and I am sure we have all seen it; people are glued to their phones even in social situations, even out for dinner or with friends. This gives off the impression that there is somewhere you would rather be, or someone you would rather be with. With all these things constantly stealing our attention, it is no wonder that time seems to creep by faster and faster. Am I the only one who feels this way? I swear it is always Christmas. Sometimes I catch myself writing the date as 2012 cause seriously where has 2013 gone? Maybe the speeding up of time has to with constant stimulus that removes us from truly living in the moment. When was the last time you took a step back and were in the moment? Purely, fully, 100% in the moment.
To do nothing honestly feels like a waste of time. It elicits a sense of guilt to sit and relax when you have millions of things piling up that need to be done, or a cell phone that keeps vibrating for your attention. When was the last time you felt relaxed, stress free, worry free? This world places so many demands on us, and we place even more on each other and ourselves. If I do not have a productive day off, I feel as though I have wasted my time. There is this obsession, and need to constantly feel busy. Busy is successful and productive, and productive people get things done. But if you were to sit down and really think for a moment, what exactly is it you are trying to achieve? What exactly is it that occupies your time and your mind power leaving you feeling completely drained. I do not mean what are you trying to achieve right now, or this week, but overall. What is it that you seek and desire to do with this one, crazy, beautiful life you have been given. We are all busy being productive towards something, but maybe we do not exactly what we are after. But maybe, just maybe, we are all after the same thing. There is always something better and newer to buy, a farther distance to run, a taller mountain to climb, another trip to go on. Sometimes, it things do not seem like enough, because once that goal has been met, or that item has been purchased, there is something else you need to go after. Some might call this motivation, and zest for life and living and I will fully agree. However I do think we get caught up in always going after things we do not have or things we have no done instead of appreciating the moment, appreciating what we have, and realizing all the things we have done.
When was the last time you just laid in the grass and looked up at the stars, or contemplated life around you, or spent complete undivided time with someone? When was the last time you created something artistic, or musical, or tried something completely new? I truly believe this constant connection to social media and each other is actually causing a disconnection from life itself. We need to recover a sense of control over the time we have here, and most importantly we need to dedicate time to return to nature and to the essence of ourselves. We need to reconnect, far away from the cities noises and bright lights. I have heard from people that leaving your cellphone at home when heading out for a run or a hike is dangerous because what if something happens to you. However it continues to provide a constant distraction. I think we all need to take time to disconnect from the World Wide Web, and reconnect with each other and nature. I think we all need to experience silence. Calmitity. Tranquility. Peace. We all need a reset. That reset might look different to you then to me, but the best way I can think of is spending time in nature. Stepping onto a trail, into the forest and connect yourself to the nature that surrounds you. I truly believe that if we can have at least one of these moments, every once and while, we will be a lot happier. Maybe if we all slow down for a moment, take a look around us, realize we are surrounded by so much love, we will begin to appreciate everything we have. Everything you need is inside yourself and if you can truly understand the meaning of this, I think happiness can be found there.