I totally grew up as the “read anything” kid— cereal boxes, instruction manuals, church bulletins left lying around. If it had words on it, I was game. And I am still so much like this…if I’m getting bored, I am looking for words to read. The problem, now, is that these words are usually found on my smartphone.
Sigh. I know. Another post about the overuse of phones and social media and how we all need to just walk away and take a break, smell the roses and all that?
Sort of. But hear me out. I am home with little people all day long, and sometimes it feels like my only connection to life outside of children is through my phone. Sports scores, news updates, Twitter, Facebook, whatever. I scroll to find something to read, something to pass the time.
Consume, consume, consume. That’s what’s happened. I am constantly taking in information, but not putting anything out there. Instead of engaging in dialogue on Twitter or Facebook, I’m watching someone else’s. Instead of taking the time to craft my own Instagram posts or blogs, I’m zoning out to others’. And there’s a balance, sure. I need to engage and take in from other people as well as put out my own information. But the over consumption is beginning to take its toll.
I was researching the other day, and it’s research for something that scares me. I’m trying to be intentional about learning more and stepping outside of my comfort zone and pushing myself. And so, I went to my old friend Google and began pulling up websites. And I read and I read and I read. And do you how I felt after a couple hours of this?
Not encouraged or inspired. I didn’t feel ready to tackle the task. I felt like closing my laptop and forgetting the whole damn thing. Because when all you do is take in information, this is what happens. And I really believe that overwhelm is just fear in disguise.
I’m not going to make a grand declaration about stepping away from my screens, because I don’t know if I’ll stick to it. I’m trying to walk away from it. I’m trying not to use it to numb myself or kill time, or procrastinate the hard things I need to do. My first step is admitting that I can feel the over consumption, that I can feel overwhelm creeping in on me and threatening to take me down.
I don’t want fear to win, in any form.
So I’m going to finish this up, shut down my laptop and turn off my phone. I’m going to let thoughts settle and my subconscious work a little, and I am going to walk away from the screens. I’ve consumed enough. Now it’s time to create.