I Escaped the Black Hole of My Phone

Mindfulness was my way out.
February 2, 2017, 6:23pm

We are living in a time of collective disorientation and mental clutter. Smartphone addiction and social media have exaggerated our already-accelerated pace of daily life. We are confused, agitated and more reliant on technology to perpetually bring us happiness than any previous generation. Recent research has supported the idea that compulsive smartphone use causes depression and anxiety. This emotional tug-of-war is combined with a consumerist culture that emphasizes immediate pleasures through lightning-fast means. Smartphones certainly provide a profound amount of practical advantage and comfort, but there is a cost. We fall into a continuous pursuit of the next hit of experience—increasingly a digitally delivered one—hoping that it will satisfy some vague underlying thirst. Not only is the thirst never extinguished, but the search for the next hit of information or experience actually fuels a greater desire to find even more gratification. We have become as happy as our next "like" on social media. We wear each new "follower" as a badge of honor. Our momentary contentment is achieved one meme at a time, and replaced by another, and another. Our success or failure in the workplace is contingent on our ability to navigate nonstop emails, floods of instant messages, and perpetually scheduled meetings that can be rescheduled instantaneously. Our battles are won and lost by the millisecond, and it's impossible to tell if we are ahead of the pack or quickly falling behind. Read more on Tonic