We’re obsessed with distraction


Constantly I think I should do that. One more thing to add to my list of things to do always seems like a good idea.

I have seen other people do this. Somehow you can see other people’s issues more clearly than you can see your own.  The people who run around from thing to thing. Too busy to de-stress, too busy to eat healthy or take a moment to cherish it.

When I see this I wonder what are they avoiding? What are they running from?

There is rarely an answer, because most of the time we have no clue what we are running from.

Times have changed from 50 years ago, one hundred years ago. The advent of social media has changed a lot of things.

I didn’t think that our hyper connection with the world around us with social media was a problem. Not even when I got an instagram and then preceded to take photos off my lunch, while my freind patiently waited.  I didn’t think our desire to escape our real lives with netflix was a problem either, until I started to feel like I had watched it all and was struggling to find more to watch.

I didn’t think I had a problem with distraction. Until I tried to study and do nothing else. When I study I go on facebook. I text people. I scroll instagram. I look at shows on netflix. I watch movies while multitasking.

I didn’t know I had a problem until I had seen all the notifications. Seen all the instagram posts, done it all. Watched many things and found myself thinking what now? What now because I cannot stand to be by myself. In the silence, and alone with my own thoughts.

It’s so quiet I can hear a clock ticking. It’s rhythmic reminding me that each moment is passing. The last time I can remember it being quiet enough for me to hear a clock ticking was as a child. At my grandparents house before anyone was awake. I used to listen to the clock tick. In ten years, I have not listened to a clock tick. My life has been filled with noise. With music, with conversation, with television, with images.

I didn’t think I had a problem until I realized that I was running away from me. From my thoughts, from my own fears, from my own inadequacies. The problem wasn’t what I was doing but why. The problem is not with social media it is with us and why we use it.

Sometimes we run from ourselves by trying to find ourselves. It’s why many of us travel. Some of us travel to discover new places but others of us are trying to forget the person we were and where we have come from.

Sometimes I scroll through instagram because I want to see cute baby photos. Other times it’s because I don’t want to be left to myself, rather I want to be distracted. Sometimes I watch netflix because it’s been a long day and I need to laugh or I love this show I am watching. It’s beautifully written, like a novel and in some ways it is an escape from everyday life. Books used to do the same. I spent my childhood reading books, delving into them and when I read the entire world melted into the background. The story overcame me. However those stories also taught me, they trained me.

An escape is one thing, but running from yourself is entirely different. I know I do it sometimes. I am obsessed with distraction because if I allow the head chatter to stop  I will have to be alone with myself and frankly on some level that scares me. It’s easier to run from yourself and harder to delve deep inside and discover who you really are.

I don’t know about you but I am tired of it. Sick of it. I want to stop scrolling through facebook. I don’t want to be all about instagram from the moment I wake until the instant I fall asleep. I don’t watch to watch television to avoid myself, I want to watch it because I love it.

I don’t want to run from myself anymore. I want to find myself. That happens when I turn off the distractions.

If you cannot be comfortable with sitting in a room by yourself in a silence so deep you can hear the clock tick then you need to find yourself. In the silence.


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