Find The Empty Spaces in your Life

It’s official. We are overwhelmed by the tsunami of digital content that permeates every aspect of our lives.

Empty Spaces

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In the pre digital era, we let life happen. We had moments in the day that were empty spaces; places for contemplation, rest, pausing or just sitting without being connected to our digital devices. Being digitally connected 24/7 fills in the gaps in our lives.  

We, now have a drop-down menu of life-editing choices, offering us an overwhelming array of options for controlling, sharing and filtering our enhanced online lives.

Reality

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But in the real world, we can’t control our lives – the challenging and imperfect analogue world that we physically live in. If someone could promise you a perfect, ironed, crease-free, edited life instead of the one you are living, would you take it?

A life where the volume was always set at 5, where the experiences are all under your control and the way people perceive you is edited to ensure you present yourself perfectly at all times?

Digital world

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We are prioritizing our digital world over our offline world and eliminating the natural pauses designed to enable us to step back for a moment.

Maybe the way we live in our digital world is a reality where we are living. We are literally missing the action from our analogue lives. We are going through the motions of being physically present but mentally absent.

We are walking through life with our eyes blinkered, with our senses on “mute”,our daily lives being directed by our smartphones, a piece of hardware. Perhaps it is time for us to check back into life and stop living our lives through a digital layer.

Digital Distractions

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We spend our time online creating continuous digital distractions and diversions. We wear busyness like a trophy because it feels far more comfortable to be busy with our online activities than to feel vulnerable because are forced to be alone with ourselves. This digital immersion avoidance technique has become our default setting.

Offline Life

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We are digitally joining the dots of our lives and avoid living the spaces in-between, the real, raw sometimes lonely places that we replace with continuous connectivity. We want to control the messy bits of our offline lives by rewriting the challenging moments and enhancing the good ones.

We want to share our best profile photo rather than our best selves, turn up the volume and increase the saturation of the way our daily lives are perceived. That is a full time job that leaves little for the real things. We have to learn to accept the fact that life cannot be controlled and respect the process of letting life unfold in its own time and in its own way.

The Unexpected

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Ultimately the wonder of being alive is found in the unexpected, the “not knowing”. Life does not blindly follow our intended roadmap. Instead it is through life’s offroad experiences that we grow and evolve.

We view instant digital gratification as the gold standard of being. We search out for instant solutions and immediate responses. We feel, faster is better and slower is unproductive. We are used to having everything we want in the palm of our hand but is it everything we need?

We treat our digital devices as a lifeline, a digital umbilical cord, a life support machine. But does our continuous digital connectivity really support us? When did we reach the point of willingly trading human contact for a 2-inch piece of hardware?

Take control

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Our relationship to our online world is determined by us. Our digital devices can only have as much control and power over us as we give them. We have a choice. We can learn digital manners and adopt a new digital protocol to restore balance to our lives.

ByOrianna Fielding

Orianna Fielding is a designer, broadcaster and author of 'UNPLUGGED, how to live mindfully in a digital world'. Having researched the negative impact of our digital over-connection for her book “Unplugged’ with leading experts in Mindfulness, Psychology and Wellness, she founded the Digital Detox

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