Phone Off, Social Media Gone

“Wherever the mind wanders, restless and diffuse in its search for satisfaction without, lead it within; train it to rest in the Self.”

The Bhagavad Gita (26)

I decided it would be wise to break away from social media for a few weeks and start turning my phone off more often. So far my phone has been off for 2 days. Here is the first insight:

Planning a day. Have you ever actually planned your day? Not down to the minute like a maniac, but just generally formed some thoughtful plan of how you’d like your day to go?

With my phone off, a lot of time is freeing up- time that I used to spend on autopilot responding to texts, emails, or reactively posting things on Facebook & Instagram.

That reactive world is safe…because you don’t actually have to step into the grit of adult life: decision-making & thinking long-term. You just casually plug into a program and play along. But that program will keep your mornings hijacked, your mind wandering in loops of distraction, and your individuality subdued.

Yes, turning off the phone and breaking away from social media for 2 weeks is getting out of the culture’s comfort zone. But isn’t that crucial in a culture where avoidant behaviors of screen gazing, shoulder slouching, selfie snapping and toilet paper hoarding have become the norm?

We are living in a time of span, not depth…masses of people have forgotten how to think for themselves. At worst it creates mass hysteria and spreads panic, worry, and fear far and wide. At best it creates tribes of followers who hopefully will get behind a leader who serves the powerless.

Silence, solitude, contemplation, meditation, spiritual surrender…these are the new programs we need to upload to override the current one.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if future generations counteract the current one’s obsession with span (or spam) of productivity by choosing depth & meaning?

Last week I discovered ‘the slow web’ movement. It’s a new community of web developers dedicated to slowing productivity, for our health and sanity. By eliminating annoying pop up email signups, spammy things, and basically everything that makes people feel rushed and robotic, they’re changing the paradigm.

During my two weeks without social media or email I’m looking forward to re-reading the Bhagavad Gita and an old Ramana Maharshi book I used to be obsessed with in my youth. Who knows, maybe it’ll extend to a month. I’ll report back on what I discover from this deep dive within!