The capacity to be puzzled
is the premise of all creation.
--- Erich Fromm
In one experiment, University of Maryland researchers asked 200 students to forego all social media for twenty-four hours. Many showed signs of craving, withdrawal and anxiety.
One student said, “I clearly am addicted and the dependency is sickening.” Another shared that “Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort. When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life.”
The major shift most people have experienced as a result of the Internet has been a decrease in transformational activities—such as going on a long walk in nature and thinking about ideas that can generate a sea change in one’s approach to life, or having a long, uninterrupted conversation with a friend that can take a relationship to a much deeper level.
Simultaneously, there has been an increase in transactional activities such as downloading a song, watching a video, sending a project update, or IM’ing a friend to say hello.
How would you define your relationship with your smartphone or laptop? Do you direct these tools to help you in your life, or do they direct you by diverting your attention to the myriad distractions they unremittingly provide?
Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday each week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).