Staring at a Wall

We all know how technology has greatly changed our lives, and as time progresses, the larger the impact it seems to have. I remember a couple years ago, when I was the only high schooler without a smart phone. I felt a strange sense of pride for not conforming. But one thing that was undeniable was that there was indeed a difference. When I would eat with my friends, they would all be on their phones. People became allergic to awkward silences. People began to lose their ability to just think.

Silence became a warning sign of impending awkwardness. I remember the times if you had nothing to do, you would just think to yourself. I would often replay movies, go to fantasy worlds, or just create my own philosophies by solving my life problems. But today, in a world where I have a smartphone, I just go through the internet or browse through my pictures. I have lost my ability to just stare at a wall.

In the book, Living with a Seal by Jesse Itzler, the author remarks of a 3 hour waiting period that he and the Navy Seal went through at the airport. While the author was walking around shopping, eating, and just trying to keep himself busy, he was surprised by how the Navy Seal utilized the time. The Navy Seal just stared at a wall. For all of the 3 hours, the Navy Seal stared at a wall.

I remember when I use to do that. I remember when I would just think. I remember when I actually took time out of my day to just think. Sometimes I would even have a journal to write down my thoughts, but there was also plenty of times when I would just lay down on my bed and look up at a ceiling, and just think.

Technology has stolen mindfulness. Now thankfully people are using technology to help get it back, with meditation apps and such, but for the large part, the smartphone has taken away our capability to be mindful.

One of the biggest parts of improving is being mindful enough to know where you need to improve. If the only improvement you make is through the instructions of your smart phone, you are not improving, you are becoming dependent.

Now I’m not saying to go look at a wall for three hours, but whenever you find yourself having to wait, do not go to your phone. Go to the nearest wall. Look at it. Stand there. Think. Who are you right now? Who do you want to be? Who can you be in the next 5 minutes? How has your day been going so far?

It’s that simple,

Sam

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