Why It’s Important to be Quiet: Part II
How often are you genuinely alone? I mean, free from your family and friends. Not often I bet. Free from the distractions and notifications of your phone? Even rarer. Never though in today’s age has it become so important to be quiet. Here’s why.
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the digital world. A new age where we are all constantly connected. An age of which we can instantly communicate with other, observe others typing – crossing international borders and time zones – all at a press of a button. Quite frankly though, it’s killing an important part of who we are. Or shall I say, what we may become.
What about the ‘Wandering Mind’?
I have written recently that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. In the context of achieving goals, being focussed makes perfect sense. Being disciplined is a skill with all the competing demands for your time. Drifting along and not having a sense of purpose can be mentally distressing.
Yet there is also value for a truly ‘wandering’ mind in a space where you are free from distractions. When you liberate yourself from this, a new space emerges. One that isn’t bio-chemically dependent upon notifications, news and fresh content. A space for which day dreaming and fantasizing become possible; a space for which previous unresolved problems reach clarity; a space for which new ideas lead to new paths emerging. It really is important to be quiet it seems, even just for a few solitary minutes.
Boredom & Brilliance?
Some commentators have gone so far to say that boredom is the path to brilliance. That’s an interesting proposition but for me, the insights I have recently experienced without the distractions of my phone has left me a new sense of purpose and renewal. I can’t explain it otherwise.
I’ve read recently of people having ‘digital free’ days. That sounds great in theory, difficult to execute in practice. With the way the digital age is going where phones become less about actually ‘communicating’, but more about ‘operating’, detaching from that central ‘point of command’ can be difficult. The relentless drive of technology means devices are improving the quality of your life. A ‘Digital detox’ is actually a paradox since it assumes that the digital age is ‘unhealthy’. Isn’t there a better way?
Being More Conscious & Present
I would rather advocate making a conscious choice to being more present, less distracted and spending quality time alone, or with family and friends – putting your phone on ‘airplane mode’ (as well as reducing the EMF pollution you are being regularly exposed to), turning off notifications, and ‘rewarding’ yourself with ‘phone time’ are small steps. Think about your phone like a toddler or puppy. They may be pampering for more, but what they don’t have immediately doesn’t hurt them.
Quite simply, the path to solitude is one that is deeply rewarding. Far from ‘loneliness’, a new sense of ‘togetherness’ may emerge – one that ‘taps’ into a hidden you to forge a new-found ‘partnership‘. The reality is, the importance of ‘quiet time’ has never been more valued.
So next time you for go on your lunch break, or even a coffee, put the phone away and see what happens. You could well receive the ‘download’ you’ve been waiting for.
The best thing is that your favourite phone will always be there when you get back – that dopamine hit will be ever more rewarding, just like saving the best things to eat for last.
What’s your experience of some time alone? Do you notice anything different when you are free from the clutches of your phone?