There’s a point in a yoga class when you stop thinking about work or what’s going on at home and you start to fully notice what’s happening inside of you. Your breath, going in and out. The feelings of muscles stretched through your arms and legs. The burning sensation of ab work you know you’ll be thankful for later. You’re no longer anywhere but here. On your mat, in your body. Until your smartwatch drags your attention back to the outside world.
I’ve seen it in yoga classes, while in mid-conversation on coffee dates, even of performers up on stage. We’re in the zone, we’re present in this moment, and then our attention is taken away to somewhere else when our devices start to buzz for attention, much like a small child.
I’ve started asking myself if technology is really serving us anymore? Yes, it’s great to be able to keep up with old friends. It’s even better to be able to build a business from anywhere. But what have we sacrificed in order to have these devices at the tips of our fingers?
The other day I was talking to my mom about a new show that had come out. It’s a fantasy set in medieval times and she asked me “why are all the shows set in this time period?” I thought about it for a while only to realize two things–It was a time when people accepted magic in which the show had plenty of, and there was no technology.
Many of my favorite shows and movies have no technology in it. No cell phones to distract us. No TV stealing time away from friends and family. And especially no smartwatches that steal time even when we figure out how to put our phones away.
Technology has taken us to some pretty amazing places. It helped us make it through a pandemic after all. I’m not naive enough to think that any of this will go away. But like my realization with social media, I see a need to set boundaries with our devices so that we don’t miss out on the more important things in life. The things that slow living and being intentional have brought back to me.
I, for one, don’t plan to invest in a smartwatch. I’ve even looked into getting the lightphone to remove my need to always be tethered to my phone (I haven’t committed yet…) I find I’m happiest when I’m out in nature, painting, or being fully present with friends and family. The hours spent watching TV, scrolling online, or being interrupted by apps are never moments that stand out in my mind. I think that in and of itself says a lot.
This week, as you move through your routine. Notice how technology is used. Does it help you to get the job done, or it is more of a distraction keeping you from a life of intention, not allowing you to move down the slow lane?