Something I’ve realised during my times of meditation is that my attention span is a lot shorter than it used to be. I’ll be sat enjoying the stillness, and my mind will divert to what might be the latest headline, or social media update. I wake up in the mornings and the first thing I think to do is text my girlfriend, check Facebook, check the Guardian, and then get on with my morning routine – which is more often than not disrupted by reading too many articles! And that’s all if I don’t get tempted to check my work email account.
I feel like information has become too easy to access, and it’s meant that I’m less good at living in the present, and much better at worrying, panicking, and generally feeling like I have to rush and cram too much in to my life. I often think that maybe the reason I don’t feel like I encounter God is because there’s too much other noise.
So for my second experiment, I’m going to try to seriously cut down on how I use my mobile phone and laptop. I’m going to try a few different angles out, some or all of which may be useful to you if you’re going to join in with me. I’ll go in to a bit more depth on them in future posts, but here’s a summary list:
- Banning mobiles, tablets and laptops from my bedroom entirely
- Choosing to put the phone in to “Aeroplane mode” when I’m having intentional conversation with somebody
- Uninstalling any apps that I do not need (Uber, for example, can stay – but Angry Birds can’t).
- Uninstalling social media apps from my phone
- Choosing to avoid my laptop and mobile phone during my lunch break at work
- Choosing to avoid my laptop outside of work hours altogether
Some of these are things that I already try to do from time to time, so whilst this is quite a big challenge I know that it helps me to feel more connected with reality rather than the internet. I hope you’ll be up for joining me – perhaps you can leave a comment about what you might try to do to cut down on how you consume information and technology?