Why look down when you can look up? Why do we spend so much time looking inward at our digital screens and not looking up and outward at the world around us? How many hours a day are our eyes, hands, and brain fatigued and transfixed by technology?
Digital phones, tablets, and computers steal our attention and ability to be present in the moment. Though important tools for modern living, too much technology and screen time can be distracting, addicting, isolating, and it disrupts sleep. The compulsive habit of needing artificial connectivity reduces sensory awareness and our connectedness to real experience. It can increase stress and the constant anxiety caused by the fear of missing out. Overdoses are not healthy. The national statistics are at a tipping point: most adults spend 10 hours a day or more consuming digital media. In the global culture of technology we don’t yet have the anthropological data to understand how it will affect our human senses, and how it may harm our precious eyes, ears, and hands or cause sensory deprivation of the brain.
Head-down activity is tough on the neck and spine. It negatively affects posture, which negatively affects mood and physical energy levels. When looking down we are not able to socially interact with people. Having no eye-to-eye contact or unconditional presence takes us away from the present. With a smart phone in our hands the eyes and mind are distracted, there is no one-to-one relationship or spontaneous interaction with a group that we can see or relate to. Do our smart phones make us less smart and less happy? The conversation is ramping up about the perils of too much tech and how we are missing out of everything and everyone. We should have more concern about this kind of sensory lack, that we could lose our creative sensitivity and empathic responses because we are not paying attention.
Look up from the screen and meditate on the scene. A simple remedy. Vacate the technical landscape and enjoy the view where you are, right now. Just look up. Discover what is happening in your room or beyond the horizon. Digital distractions take us away from living a creative life. Overuse of electronic media kills the mindfulness that stimulates our remarkable human senses and opens the flow of the creative source. Creativity is a multi-dimensional organic process that is fluid and liberating. A one-dimensional electronic screen limits the essential movement that makes creativity happen. Life is sweeter without staring at or swiping a flat piece of glass. Find a balance. With less screen time and more scene time, creativity happens.