Out of all the tangible topics that are valuable to re-evaluate as we hope to make positive change in our lives, screen addiction is perhaps one of the most widespread personal sticky situations modern civilization has found itself in the midst of at this point in time, and will eventually have to evolve through as we continue to progress into greater peace and consciousness. Whether we are talking about screens in general or more specifically the internet, whether the format be television, computer or particularly smart-phone, this addiction has come as a radical uprising that the majority of us have been swept away in so instinctually, so obviously, that if you’re in the midst of common culture, chances are you were too involved in the phenomena to have the space to recognize what’s been happening for what it truly is.
-From the lowest perspective, we are a species enslaved. We are slaves to our impulses and habits to refer to these screens in order to pass the time, unconsciously depending on our devices to relieve us of any slightest glimpse of boredom, awkwardness, or discomfort. The average American can be found today in a place where he once might have naturally had his head up open to and present with the real world around him, compromising such opportunities to engage with life through the fresh present moment to delve into the convenient pocket portal of the smart phone as a means for immediate predictable comfort. The implications of this is that on a larger and larger level, we no longer know how to just be in this world with ourselves or with one another, assuming that the best answer to any true opportunity to simply be is to pull out a screen.
The numbers for how much time the average American spends on the screen is currently estimated at up to around 9-11 hours in day- which means the greater majority of one’s time awake for many. With such radical usage, it would seem safe to assume that there is something to living on a screen that must simply serve the individual more than good-ol-fashioned physical being. The reality of the matter however, is that our addiction is more likely fueled, like any other addiction, by the empty promise of illusory instant gratification that never truly fulfills, leaving us coming back more and more to seek that inner sense of something that is only drained in the long-run the more we depend on an external stimuli to supply it.
The virtual model of experience supplied by the screen is simply not what the body-mind-soul complex was originally intended to invest its energetic conscious capacities in. Although not as dramatic as a substance addiction, it is still valuable to come to terms with our addictive tendencies, so that with greater awareness we can notice the behaviors we unconsciously participate in that might not be in alignment with our potential and how we wish to live our lives.
When in the screen we become dissociated from our consciousness of the present moment, as our awareness becomes disengaged from the body that is home, therefor promoting a loss of touch with time, clarity, reason, etc. as our scope of perception is narrowed down into a virtual representation of reality. Even if we reflect on our experiences to reason that our endless usage is simply not as productive or fulfilling as our unconscious instincts believe, the habit to take one’s phone out is deeply ingrained in our subconscious, and when in the screen we immediately become disempowered from having the mental space for recognition of the dissonance it creates within our consciousness, that would spark the inspiration or will for us to pull away if we noticed its effects on our state. As a result, we cover up the subtle discomfort and increased dissatisfaction our usage with these devices generate with even more usage,
being too in the cycle to identify it. The overall effects can span to distort our social lives, as well as cause irritability, depression, dependency and other symptoms of addiction.
Wake up call:
This pattern of behavior is not sustainable- we are simply not meant to be psychologically dependent. The fact it is such a collective common only means we are more blind to an awareness of these effects as our culture only thus far enforces this pattern of external dependency. Yet more and more are individuals waking up to this slumber- our consciousness showing up to remind us of what it is here for.
The good news:
-From a higher perspective, humanity is at a historical breakthrough point of technological advancement. Through the Internet, we have become empowered to realize our creative and social potential unlike ever before. For those of us blessed to afford to keep up with these cultural norms, everything that was once quite impossible to assume as causal of a task it is today, from shopping, to getting around town, to messaging others, to playing games, to watching videos, to making art, can now be accessed at a click away from one single platform. We are now actualizing our connection to one another instantaneously, with social media platforms serving to allow us to keep in touch through sharing information, playing, and working with one another even if physically apart.
With such potential for expansive excitement in our life’s, we are just beginning to understand what this all means in relation to the greater picture of a higher functioning, evolving humanity, and how we can use this technology to best serve ourselves personally as well as as a collective. Yet while these tools in themselves promise great hope for the path of our progression, perhaps the ways in which we use them need to evolve so that we do not leave ourselves behind in the process.
The bigger picture:
For now it seems we have gotten so excited with what’s been immediately presented at hand that we have gotten lost in the rush, not yet recognizing the need to pause and take a step back to honestly assess the ways in which we use these tools. While the benefits sure outweigh the negatives, it is becoming clear to many that to continue to become more lost in our screens as we’ve been allowing for ourselves up to now is not a viable vision of the future reality that we might wish to risk bearing witness to the results of. As we stand within a cultural crossroads of sorts today, discerning what we would like to choose in order to create a more empowered future for the human civilization, and what we must transcend in order to get there, to put it simply: we must bring forth consciousness to all that we do, so that we may function as clearly and intentionally as possible as we keep dealing with greater and greater technological development, so that we do not abuse these devices, or let them use us.
The revolutionary opportunity:
I see this particular subject, although perhaps not a major concern for some, as being one of the most remarkable, necessary, beautifully powerful and monumental meaningful steps we will take together as mankind into our liberation, considering the mass prevalence of this subjects effects. From becoming dissociated from one another while virtually discovering our connection- to call forth a real life physical revolution will take all of us, and will bring us back to ourselves, one another, and greater consciousness unlike ever before, granting us the integrated wisdom gathered from our learned experiences to forever guide us towards a brighter future. What an amazing opportunity to keep evolving further.
Let’s see this as an ultimate test of sorts, to allow ourselves to prioritize our awareness once and for all as a grounded precedent to all external activity. Through our personal choices, we can change a whole culture.
First and foremost, I am speaking from experience, and to myself. I am a victim to these addicting ways. I have noticed this many times, made many efforts on many occasions to experiment with bringing more consciousness and less dependency to my usage of these devices, and i’ve let myself fall victim to old habits time and time again. But calling myself a victim is no longer a viable choice. The more aware i become of my habits, the more i can acknowledge that i am always making a choice. Part of me feels icky for writing this, partly from the hopeless hypocrisy, part from the hypnotic mush from the screen i’m writing this on, but the bigger part of me knows this is the only way it can be done- and that this must be done, without any further dely. And that is through spreading as much awareness, conversation, intention, and real life action as possible- NOW. And with you all as my witnesses i expect to hold myself accountable for it. This challenge is real.
It is not easy to make this change because there is not a lot of encouraging momentum assisting one in becoming convinced with the desire to make it when the collective can be seen as giving one every excuse to find his efforts useless when compared to the mass influence. However, with such an awakening awareness time and time again reminding me, and i assume others, of what i know needs to change, it is simply not a viable solution to keep ignoring these inner callings that know that it’s time to evolve to a better way. The time to change is now. The more we wait, the more we allow our unconsciousness to have power over our consciousness; the more we let our weaknesses define us; the more we fall victim to ourselves- and as discouraging as it can be to do this in a world that does not reflect our highest potential, the truth of the matter is that the only way we can do it is by starting with ourselves, in movements of spread awareness together TODAY. We ARE stronger and more powerful than our habits and devices.
I have noticed within myself that there is no greater freedom than to detach from the screen with a solid decision. There, an unforeseen world of endless presence, opportunity, and newfound clarity awaits. We can spend hours aimlessly thinking there is nothing better outside the screen that would be worth disconnecting for, yet this is simply because we haven’t sat through the disconnected beingness enough to reach the state of freedom that is not bound with the lingering back-of-the-mind idea that clogs us with the prospect that the screen is available and calling us. Here lies true connection. In the dissociative haziness of the cycle, to simply make the decision to JUST FUCKING DO IT, is not easy. But JUST FUCKING DO IT. JUST DO IT! And you will be granted infinite 360 access to a universe far more rich than a screen could ever attempt to achieve, granting you an opening into whatever depth of clarity and inspiration is just waiting on the mental space to come forth. The effects on one’s life when he is not chained to this dependency is liberating, transformational, and exponentially empowering beyond belief.
Friends, it’s time to level up. Although personally the implications are huge, this is about a collective revolution that may serve generations to come to live in a more aware and conscious world where we are still intact with and moving from the essence of ourselves, rather than away from it.
It is for this that I call forth a day without a screen. Can we go for 24 hours the way people once used to, and still that many do today? Let us be present with everything that comes up so we may truly come to terms with all that this addiction contains for us.
I recommend having a journal to document your experiences. Some ideas for what to write about are:
-The most important initial step is to start off being present with your intention by writing it down so that you may see it, experience yourself declare it, and fully take it into your consciousness.
-What do you notice when the desire to take out a screen comes up?
How hard is it to resist it? What happens when you do resist it? Can you mentally let it go completely?
-How often does this urge come up? Sitting with these observations, where does this urge come from? what underlying beliefs are there to uncover as to where this habit is rooted?
-how do you feel without a screen?
Do you feel anxious? Fomo? Disconnected? Lost? Awkward? Vulnerable? Naked? Lonely?
Free? At peace? Clear?
– How does it feel to just simply be? To sit through the stillness, the awkwardness, the boredom? And what lies on the other side?
-What can you use your time to do that you never seem to have the time, space, inspiration, or energy to go for when your mind is automatically drawn to a screen in your free time?
-what insights are you gaining through this detox time? What newfound perspective do you have sitting through this?
-Also, from this perspective, what can you notice about the world around and the ways that have become normal to live by? What observations do you have about this culture of technological dependency?
-From a clear perspective, what changes would you like to see in the world in order for us all to experience a flourishing potential for experience? How can you start with yourself?
-How would your life change if you were to live more mindfully?
-What could you imagine the repercussions being if we didn’t wake up to our unconscious habits (be creative)?
-How do you feel at the end of the day?
-And how can you implement this more in your life? How can you remind yourself to be more conscious in everyday life? What changes can you consciously make? How can you integrate this detox into forever?
Feel free to share your findings with your friends! The road is much easier together.
Tips for conscious screen usage:
– When waking up, don’t immediately go for the screen. See if you can start your day off and not reaching for the device until you are relatively up and running, functioning from a fully awake, clear and intentful state, so as not to start the day by setting the precedent for a cycle of hazy compulsive usage.
– When going outside, leave it behind (trade it for a notebook?)
– When going to the toilet, leave it behind.
– When at the dinner table, leave it behind.
– When with another person (friend, family member) LEAVE IT.
– Leave your phone on airplane mode as much as possible.
before anything, the most powerful and only way to make any change is to truly honestly want it. So reflect on the pro’s and con’s, and be clear with yourself on your intentions to change. the power is with you and only you. It doesn’t have to be hard, but you do have to be authentically devoted.
– Mind the gap:
There is a gap within our consciousness, where in we reach for a phone out of habit to fill. The key to consciousness is to simply be with that gap, and see it as the doorway to presence instead. Observe the impulse- do not become swept away in it. Consider what your intentions are, and then go forward with mindfulness and honest reflection and responsibility in your usage as to not get lost- or rather decide to simply continue with being, leaving space for infinite other possibilities to be engaged in.
When falling back into habit:
Let yourself choose consciousness over impulse. Don’t worry about falling back into habits. Allow each moment to be all that matters- and choose to not let yourself down when recognizing you have the choice of consciousness or impulse.
And never underestimate the power of writing down goals and intentions and guidelines for oneself. Talk to yourself. Be clear. Hold yourself Accountable. Remember: you are not fighting with yourself- you are doing this for yourself.
Thank you for doing this with me. Remember we are all always learning this together; they don’t call this a challenge for nothing. It’s a process- yet who says it has to be hard or painful? Let us bask in the joy and freedom of being free from addiction and dependency, and present with our productive potential. Let us take delight in making the changes we know will serve our overall well being-and let ourselves experience the greater clarity and presence that we do this for. Remember that it’s bigger than us, and that it starts with is. To greater responsible and progressive usage of our devices, and greater presence, happiness, and deepening of our livelihood, humanity, and natural connection. Thank you.
– Adi Beth