Want to improve your work/life balance? Turn your damn phone off.
The entire work/life balance discussion is a misnomer in today’s globalized interconnected world. People talk of FOMO(Fear of Missing Out) as an explanation behind our rabid addiction to our mobile devices. We want to be the first to know when someone breaks up with their significant other or when breaking news hits the News Feeds.
In a nation with 7% unemployment, I think many of us are more afraid of missed opportunity, which leads us to work throughout the entire day from the luxury of our phones. From the moment we wake up to the second we go to bed we have access to an endless stream of “news” and work related applications.
Work isn’t going anywhere and is it really all that important for you to be the first to see that viral video? If you are introspective you can easily break down what really matters in your life by recognizing what you spend the majority of your time doing everyday. If the world was ending this very moment would you be answering emails or spending time with the people you love?
We all have a very serious and growing problem with narcissism, but this is nothing new.
“I found that band first before they were mainstream” has become “I shared that viral video before it was everywhere.”
God forbid someone brings up something new in a conversation that you haven’t already seen in your social feeds, it might actually lead to active face-to-face dialogue with another human being.
We can’t have that though. We can’t even stand to look each other in the eyes anymore because our consciousness is glued to the digital world.
Our family held a birthday party for my mom today. I looked around the room and saw my uncle, both of my parents (including my mom), all three of my younger brothers, and myself all gazing aimlessly into our iPhones. When we weren’t plugged into the Matrix of the Internet we were busy anxiously capturing the precious moments of the event to share with the entirety of our social graph.
In the frantic frenzy to document our every precious moment, we neglect being present in the wonder of the moment itself. We shouldn’t be experiencing life for the benefit of documentation and inflation of our own narcissistic egos. We shouldn’t be 24 hour slaves to our inbox for the sake of work opportunity.
We should be actively present in the eternal bliss of life and in the timelessness of moments themselves.
At your next family gathering, event, or night out with friends I challenge you to have every single person turn off their phones. You’re with family and friends to create memories, not document your life to boost your own ego or take the next step in your career. It’s not fair to yourself and it’s not fair to the others in the room.
You’re cheating yourself in life if you think that you need to document and share every second of your existence. Taking a million photos of that sunset will never truly capture the essence of its beauty completely. Take the time to soak it in the moment itself instead of rushing to share it with your social graph.
on’t fool yourself, your life isn’t that interesting to other people and there’s nothing so important happening in the world that you can’t take a few hours out of your day to be phoneless with your friends or family.
Title Photo Credit: flickr