Yesterday I had one of those days of sitting at the computer paying bills, replying to emails, doing work (with the occasional scroll through Facebook because my circle of friends post interesting and amazing things – how many of us have this secret little addiction??) and by the end of the day I had the deep ache in my neck and that weird anxious, uncentered feeling that I have now learnt to associate with too much screen time.
I have a love hate relationship with technology. I find myself increasingly using it – to pay bills, to do what used to be paper work, to communicate with friends and often colleagues – to research something, to organise my photos, to organise my music, to book holidays, to book entertainment tickets, to Skype with my daughters who are overseas to …. to …. the list goes on! And – when it’s all said and done – I don’t like technology. For a long time I have suspected that too much time on the computer causes not only physical ailments such as neck and back problems, but emotional discomfort such as anxiety, restlessness and a sense of disconnection. And I am more than aware of the many problems it is creating, especially for those who are loosing their job to it; especially in homes where family life has been so radically changed by it; especially for the current children coming up the ranks with all the inappropriate material they are privy to and the way it’s changed the way children play (or don’t) and interact.
And then the long weekend came along – and with it the still blue skies and divine colours of Autumn. I was lucky enough to have arranged a very social weekend catching up with dear friends and it was as good as the best of therapies – soul food I would call it. To connect with favourite people – those where there is a natural sense of ease – comfortable like an old favourite sweater. To spend time in lively, sensitive, heart felt conversation and easy banter. To share a delicious meal prepared with love and go on a long walk with in nature; to listen to music with and then dance like no-one is watching. Needless to say the contrast in how I was feeling between my screen heavy day and my day with friends was profound. I felt enlivened, full, relaxed, rejuvenated.
PEOPLE NEED PEOPLE
Humans are social creatures. We need the company of others and one would think that due to technology and social media, we have never been more connected to others than now. But it is not the same! Nothing can replace real human contact and connection. It feeds us in a way screen contact can never do.
Be curious – notice how your are feeling when you have been on the computer for any length of time – how your body feels, how you are emotionally? Become more mindful of when you need to take a break.
Strive to create more balance in your life – ensure you have organised time – real time, person to person time, with your friends – and notice how you feel afterwards.
If you find you are using your computer and screen as your main means to connect and are suffering anxiety and other debilitating symptoms, get some help with creating the balance you need. Talk to someone – friend or professional – and get that human connection that will help shift this for you.