WHERE IS MY MIND?

Paying Attention

Every morning, the first thing many of us do is look at our phone. I’m guilty of it. You probably are too.

Craig Mod took a month’s sabbatical from technology and social media and wrote about his experience. His story is reminiscent of Andrew Sullivan’s essay on his anti-online meditation retreat.

Mod wrote something that really hit home for me:

There is a qualitative and quantitative difference between a day that begins with a little exercise, a book, meditation, a good meal, a thoughtful walk, and the start of a day that begins with a smartphone in bed.

At night, I use my iPhone as an alarm and track my sleep with the Sleep Cycle app. Although, lately I’ve been reading social media before I turn off the light and it’s practically the first thing I do in the morning after turning off the alarm. I’m beginning to feel like that’s not healthy.

I used to unwind my brain before bed with a book. Now, right before I go to bed and the first thing in the morning I read post after post about Donald Trump or some other injustice in the world. Maybe I’m following the wrong people. Maybe I just need to step away from technology.

I’m guilty of not having my attention on the right things. I wonder if it’s because my attention is everywhere else? Keeping my mind on where I am and what I need to do is important. I fail far too often at that and I think social media and technology is partly to blame. So, I’m going to try a few simple rules like these:

  • Get back to reading books in bed and think seriously about reading books on the iPhone more instead of social media.
  • Email is quickly scanned, but nothing addressed until later in the day.
  • Move all social media apps on the iPhone to a folder on the second screen.
  • Turn off nearly all notifications (I need Sleep Cycle and Due).

Let’s see how that works out in a few weeks.