Screens, screens, screens everywhere.
Smartphones, smart watches, smart TVs, from nano to mega size.
Relentlessly hypnotising ourselves in the daze of flashing lights and beeping sounds. It only takes around 15 minutes of watching a television screen to be lulled into a state of hypnosis. The state of mind where all incoming messages are given free entry into the deepest, most powerful part of our mind - the subconscious mind.
More interactive screens such as mobile phones hook us in differently.
An insatiable appetite for micro rewards, devouring likes, shares, validation and information.
Each little success triggering a shot of dopamine to ping the dopamine receptors in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical in our brain associated with pleasure. It is activated not only during consumption of recreational drugs but also other activities where we perceive a reward for some action.
The bright lights and beeping sounds in many games, the constant scrolling through social media apps, endless streaming of videos capture you in a loop of action and reward. The brain gets accustomed to receiving pleasure in small hits for very little action. We don’t even need to physically press a key anymore - with modern screens we need just a gentle touch.
The brain now trained to receive rewards with minimal effort begins to struggle to put in real effort for larger, real goals.
Getting high on your screen, accumulating pleasure from virtual experiences. At the same time, the muscles of the eyes become trained to fixate on a screen at a certain distance. Over time the eyes struggle to read fine print up close or objects at a distance.
We spend more and more time on our screens every day. From waking up in the morning to snooze the alarm, checking news and social media, messages after you wake up to maybe reading an ebook or watching a video as you fall asleep. Not to mention the constant message checking, email reading and social media interactions throughout the day.
We cannot even sit still for 5 minutes to contemplate. We cannot tolerate 5 minutes of sitting or standing doing nothing. It is too easy to take out a screen and get high on digital info.
How much time do you spend away from a screen?
How much of the real world do you experience?
Real enjoyment in authentic locations.
Experiences that take a few more steps to reach than the instant gratification available through a screen. But such experiences are truly worth the extra effort. You may have to complete a few more steps but each task completed builds up anticipation for the experience. Enjoying the journey as much as the destination.
For example, sitting at a lakefront, forests in the near distance with mountains just beyond.
A panoramic view so brilliant and expansive that cannot be captured by any camera.
The sounds, of the elements, wildlife, the song of nature.
The wind, fresh and crisp.
Breathing in the moment.
If you can feel it you can create it.
It all starts with intent.
Without it you won't find the opportunities.
Look up and break the trance.
Create something real in your world.
By Dipesh Parmar