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Thursday, March 12, 2009
Yes, I'm coining a new disease:
The overloading of oneself with information to the detriment of emotional and/or physical well being.
I say this with some conviction due to recent experiences managing my own life in the information age and working for many years with clients in the Financial District. I started asking, "How do I, and others, get wrapped up in information, communication, and entertainment to such a large degree?" For many it is essentially a full-time job, or simply synonymous with living in this age. Now don't get worried, I'm not in need of counseling yet but I've noticed that this behavior can be a slippery slope and many of us are participating in this behavior to a shocking degree with less productivity, increasing physical ailment, and disconnection from Nature as a result. At it's worst it can become an addiction - i.e. to the news, interntet, e-mail.
I think it's enough that most people are required to spend 8 hours/day working on a computer; to go home and fix oneself to yet another screen - be it a home computer, fancy cell phone
(Blackberry, iPhone), or TV serves to cause deep unrest in the body and mind. Besides the poor posture and deleterious micro-movements of mousing, typing, and Black-Berrying that this information managing creates in the physical body, it also removes us from the present reality of our surroundings, and can end up consuming more of our precious time (and yes our time here is finite).
I do recognize that these devices for communication and entertainment are simply a fact of modern life, but the way we choose to utilize them can contribute or detract greatly to our well-being. We need to make these devices work for us, not the other way around. It is a thin boundary to utilizing a technological device and being wrapped up in it.
Here are some suggestions, I invite you to adopt any that resonate with you:
1. Focus on improving the quality of communication and be an advocate of this in the workplace. Get it settled in one conversation instead of ten emails or text messages.
2. Be present and commit to do just one thing while you are doing it rather than switching between multiple tasks at the same time.
3. Set up regular time to simply be in your body (i.e. exercise, walking, regular stretch breaks from the computer, getting Rolfing ;-)).
4. Fast. Take the devices and shut them all off for a period of time (i.e. all of Saturday, or even just a few hours) and do something rewarding by yourself, with another, or in Nature.
5. Choose and filter entertainment. Media (music/TV/movies/net surfing/texting) can give us a fix, just like a drug and we have to choose carefully which drugs we consume with our eyes and ears. Media can create a mental reality that is fantastic but has absolutely no relation to our lives.
All the best!