Since I moved I’ve been trying to be more conscious about simplifying and only doing one thing at a time. What I mean is, more and more I feel that I can’t do something without input from something else. Like eating while listening to the radio or watching tv. I’ve even found myself at work eating at my desk while listening to a podcast AND simultaneously checking my phone for Facebook and Instagram updates. Why is it becoming harder and harder to do anything without craving multiple input channels?
Not only is this my first apartment on my own, but I also now live in a ridiculously quiet neighborhood. And I mean quiet. I don’t think I’ve ever lived anywhere this peaceful. Even when my parents lived in Woodstock there was always noise. My dad playing guitar, my dogs, sounds from the surrounding woods, cars driving past.
My biggest guilty pleasure is watching TV while eating dinner (but I think everyone does this, no?) and I don’t think I could get through hand washing all my dishes without NPR, so I haven’t completely taken up a monastic lifestyle. But I’ve been making the effort to not turn on the radio just for the sake of having noise. I will sit at my table and look out the window while eating my breakfast and having my coffee in the morning and I’ve really been enjoying it. I suppose this is a form of multi-tasking in itself, but as a human it’s not like I can turn off my eyes and brain just to eat breakfast. This silence has given me time to think. I’ve always lived inside my head – forever analyzing, planning, creating – but this quiet moment in the morning really helps me to clarify. Perhaps it’s almost meditative.
Of course then I started thinking about how much time we give ourselves to think now that we have so many screens to look at and so many sounds to listen to. Maybe not enough. Is it the input that’s addicting or the thoughts that we are afraid of. Maybe both.
What about you? Do you find yourself craving as much input as I do? Doing too many things at once? Do you ever try to detox or are you embracing the shift technology is bringing to our lives?