After watching the Netflix documentary – The Social Dilemma, a number of us went cold turkey on social media; for exactly 3 hours(!), before somehow magnetically being drawn back to its allure.
Why is it so hard to imagine a life without the convenient refuge of social media, screens or technology? I tried, in vain, to remember what i did as a child with little to no tech. The time before there was a magical, hypnotic window into the inter-netted web that sucked you into its black hole. Escape from which seems impossible. And us, suspended in limbo.
After setting aside all technology for an hour, i finally managed to remember/list 7 activities which don’t (usually) involve technology or staring at a screen. Of course, if we want them not to.
One: Using physical craft stuff. Remember using ruled notebooks, natraj pencils, reynolds pens, and camlin crayons/sketch pens? Crafts that needed motor skills, and didn’t involve swiping, scrolling, or typing? You can’t deny the innate joy in the tactical use of our fingers, palms and hands to create, write, draw, sew, knit, mold etc.
Two: Moving our entire body. As it was designed and intended to move. Walking, running, jogging, dancing, stretching, exercising, or even simply flailing our arms and legs will bring back a spring in our mind, body and soul. Raises our heat-beat, and gives our eyes a rest.
Three: Just being. From the moment we wake in the morning, until we fall asleep at night, our eyes are taking in vast amounts of information, constantly. Closing our eyes gently, shutting out our thoughts and focusing on our breath which is the only constant, we can cleanse our minds.
Four: Going back to rituals. Rituals offer a sense of structure. Tasks like cooking a simple meal, cleaning dust off a table, or folding crisply laundered clothes that don’t involve peering into a screen build a meditative daily, weekly, monthly practice that create a comforting home for our ditzy mind to reside in.
Five: Greening your thumb. There is something primal about churning mud, planting seeds, pruning branches, taking root, watching leaves and flowers bloom. Therapeutic even. Witnessing plants grow and grooming a garden feeds the soul. Take time to watch life transpire in your own backyard/balcony.
Six: Spend real-time with the three dimensional living beings around you. Your pets, your spouse, your kids, your parents, your friends, your neighbor, or even a stranger on the bench; Yes WITHOUT technology. It’s surprising how much we can connect when we are not connected to wifi. Scary i know. But let’s give it a shot.
Seven: Go out into the world that we once roamed free in. The trees, the sky, the mountains, the ocean, the sun and sand. It’s a big world and whatever it is that we are looking to escape from when we lose ourselves in screens, is bound to lose itself in the pursuit of exploration. Do not be tempted to take your phone out every second in pursuit of capturing the moment; simply be in it.
What other activities can you think of that don’t involve screens or technology?
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