I took a class in a beautiful yoga studio last week. The room was open and spacious, the decor was calming and the mood content.
The teacher brought us through a relaxing sequence which was ideal after a days work to quiet the mind and come down from the stress and stimulus of modern living.
At the end of the class, after we closed and we started to move again I noticed two people immediately had phones in their hands before they even left the mat. They sat with their shoulders hunched and their eyes close to the screen as if they would be sucked inside of it.
There was no worry or consternation on their faces after to suggest that there were circumstances which required both of them to check their phones immediately after class.
This was disheartening for me to see. There is so much more to yoga than just the exercise. Meditation and looking inwards are an equally important part of yoga just as much as the postures.
How can we look inward to ourselves if we cannot resist the urge to go to our screens immediately after our yoga session.
I wonder how the teacher who offered the beautiful class felt when she saw two of the recipients immediately pick up their phones and hunch over them like Golem with the ring.
There are mental benefits to be taken from yoga and meditation, which are lost if we do not allow them to sink in.
I too am guilty of too much screen time. I am writing this blog on a device as I speak. My screen-time app on my IPhone tells me that I spent an average of 2 hours a day on my phone in the last 7 days.
Surely though there is a time and a place.
All to often I see people stare into a screen with their thumbs moving furiously while out for dinner with a group or in a meeting. It is a well known fact that we cannot multi task, we simply jump from one task to another and loose efficiency as we do so. If we are focused on the screen we are not focused on anything else.
There are certain spaces which have no place for screens, those places we come to relax and unwind. Your bedroom for example. The yoga studio. The church or the temple.
My fear is that as a society we will become entranced as a whole, unable to detach and therefore unable to destress. We will become blind to what is around us because we see everything through a 7 inch screen.
My hope is that as a society we will see these screens for what they are. Useful tools, but nothing more than interactive two dimensional surfaces which cannot replace real experiences.
My hope is that we take the time to let our minds digest the experiences laid out before us before we get sucked back into the black hole of a screen.
A black hole is so powerful that even light cannot escape, an IPhone screen is so powerful that it takes our thoughts, ideas and feelings.
Here are some simple tips we can put in place to limit or become more aware of our screen time:
- Leave the phone at home a little more. Recognize that it is not always required.
- Leave it in another room while you sleep.
- Use screentime – you’ll find it in settings for IPhone. Im not sure about android.
- Take a break from social media. See if you miss it.
I hope this helps.