One of the side-effects of weaning myself off of the technological attention-deficit-disorder-inducing excitants and distractants of smart-phone, Twitter, and compulsive, repetitive website checking, is dislocation in time — or, would that be, location outside of time?
In either case, it had become clear to me that my habits of being had affected my ability to concentrate, focus, and, well, Be. LOL – in the process of becoming well, I began to worry about my well-being, as it were, and ability to just Be. Well then.
Once upon a time I could (and did) read for long-uninterrupted hours. I happily spent entire days, weekends, holiday stretches wrapped in blankets, cups of tea and coffee beside me, lost in books. Too, I wrote for great swaths of time I struggled and sacrificed to carve for myself from the demands of what was, previously, a much more traditionally shaped and busy existence.
The forced slow-down coincident with my recent illness, the detective-work and review done with my physician to try to determine its cause, gave me pause. It became clear that my brain had changed. Illogically, having left a life where the importunate demands and happiness of others had been my primary occupation, and then managing to achieve a life in which I was nearly solitary, could enjoy free, unstructured time, I had replaced the interruptions of others with an addiction to checking what was going on in a world in which I was only marginally involved among a group of people I — for the most part — knew and had contact with only through social media.
I was losing words. I would try to boot-up my brain and do a search for the name of something, the song and show from which a lyric came, the author of a quote, what I had had for dinner last night, anything really, and I could not locate the answer. I am loath to admit that some of this is an unavoidable effect of aging. I must accept a degree of it as natural. However, I realized I could no longer sit and read for long periods without grabbing my smart-phone and seeing who was being funny on Twitter. I could not write for hours without flipping laptop screens to on-line — usually beginning with some specious excuse that I needed to research a detail or word for whatever I was writing.
This struck me today because I read yet another article about the damage football — as it is now played — does to the brain (not to mention the body). And, in this article it is also pointed out that this topic is now becoming another of those where political leaning plays a part. Read it here in the New York Times:
And as I was reading it, shortly after having risen this morning and thinking it Wednesday, I realized, No, this is Tuesday and I have to go vote. In addition to avoiding Twitter (other than to answer direct messages from dear ones buzzing my smart-phone with wonderings as to where I’ve been) I have also steered clear of most news and television the past few days: the political ads and talking-head blather, all too much for me.
As I read the article I noticed an absence of the broil of self-righteous indignation I usually experience about football and the macho-culture surrounding it. What? Why? Well, here’s why: Yes, it seems incontrovertible that endless poundings to the body and head are damaging and likely change the efficiency of function of those bodies and brains in the long run, okay? Yes. However, optimal body and brain efficiency are also depleted and damaged by reliance on and addiction to smart-phones and on-line trolling and gaming. Other than the decline in my own ability to think, focus, and process information, I know personally of many examples of people whose physical and mental well-being is compromised by their addiction to devices and constant-connectivity to the ether-world.
So, who am I to judge those who choose to destroy their bodies and brains with football? Or soccer? Or, well, social media? Or, anything at all? Now, I’m not saying that I haven’t huge arguments with the culture of football, its inherent misogyny and the damage I think the canonization of athletes from youth through adulthood does — but, what I am saying is …
I don’t even always know what day it is.
Now, off to vote and make my contribution to the partisan divide. And then to read. And to write. And, maybe, to gym.
Love and Light, friends. Go in peace and without judging. And quiet. For goodness sake, let’s all be just a little quiet?