We have marched un-noticeably into the 21st century, the “Age of information”. Unknowingly, we have slipped in our ways over decades, from waiting for the morning newspaper to afternoon tuning of radio stations and then to listening 24/7 news channels. With enthusiasm, we accepted the “always-connected” phones and now behold in front of our eyes we are witness to the storming of the Bastille, the “always-attached” smart watches. Ever so subtly a new behavior is fashioned in and takes away the every bit of silence that we had once known.
The information age reigns supreme with the omnipresent flow of information. That un-relentless stream from our computers, tablets, phones and smart watches. We are left with not a moment for ourselves. The ring of an accomplished email, the buzz of a friends text message, the thrill of a “like” on social media, the precipitation of internet search (and knowing the unknowns) abound us with pleasure – but, alas only a transitionary one.
Being held hostage to the “high” coming from the pings of devices, we clamor for more, to reach the next “high”. Convicting ourselves into an abyss of longing, melancholy and hopes. We fight an uncontrollable cacophony of inner voices, desiring to be relevant and to be appreciated.
These incessant sounds takes a repenting toll. Biologically, the brain needs metabolic energy to perform, but then it can only do so much. The unrelenting stream of activities and notifications (notification activates our ancestral fight or flight stress response), overwhelms our working memory and decision making ability. Hence it is aptly called “Cognitive Load”. The continuous strain transforms us to become un-social (have you noticed the increase in food delivery services?), less empathetic, un-charitable, more dishonest and profoundly impact our ability to judge and take correct decisions.
For once, let us forgo today, the bulging distractions. Let us silence our phones and machines. Let us pardon our critics, the overbearing colleague, the intense competitor, the unwelcome failings and turn of fate. Let us suppress our desire to rule and to be known. And once again, let us empty our mind, wish for nothing and lift ourselves to hear the sweet sound of nature, the whisper of wind, the songs of birds, the colors of sky, the flow of streams and the sublime of star filled nights. Let us walk now in the garden of eden, our present. Let us become in peace with our SELF.