The immediate gratification of social media is both a blessing and a curse in the pursuit of mindfulness. Today, the message that practising meditation is good for you is as mainstream as the message that smoking is bad for you – and equally as true. So why is it so hard to make time for meditation?
Most reasons can be easily divided into two categories: First of all it doesn’t feel important enough to do as an activity, and secondly it’s much easier to stay distracted by Twitter or whatever you love to scroll through.
We need to be more aware of the use of social media. Although its potential is revolutionary, it also presents an addictive mind-candy for those of us looking to distract ourselves from the present moment.
Social media addiction is on the rise. Observing a sea of faces turned towards the glow of various mobile devices is a common theme in most public spaces, and this habitual voyeurism is a great way to kill time. But participating in this habit too often doesn’t help you exist quietly within yourself. It most certainly does not help you to develop patience.
Social media is an addiction if it allows us to ignore our thoughts and feelings, both uncomfortable and pleasant. This form of mental decompression doesn’t possess an inherent evil. Just understand that when you are looking at Facebook, Instagram, Buzzfeed, Twitter and all the other versions that exist in between, you are diminishing your mind’s ability to be aware of the now.
Are you someone who needs to be plugged in at all times? If so perhaps you should examine why this behavior exists. Getting a better understanding of what motivates your digital fix can help you to figure out when it’s appropriate to be glued to your screen, or when you should take a time out from the external environment to check in with your internal landscape.
If you instinctively look to technology to help you pass the time then you are doing a good job of solidifying a lack of awareness in your physical, emotional and mental realms. In fact, you might even be engaging in the habit to avoid just that, because you find being with yourself at this depth either uncomfortable or outright terrifying. Are you balking at that statement? Is it not true?
Melissa Gutierrez is the co-founder of SMARTer Bodies Mel@smarterbodies.com