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THIS is What's Important

“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.” Iain Thomas

I recently watched the documentary The Social Dilemma. I was pretty dumbfounded after this film. But even as I was reminded of how every move we make on the internet is being recorded and watched, and we are being controlled and manipulated, I was utterly aghast. I knew to some degree that corporations and organizations were controlling the information that I was seeing on my computer every day, but the level of control is pretty astonishing. Especially when you take into account how much you use the internet and social media every day.

And think about it. How many times have you driven down the road and noticed another driver looking down at their phone as they cruise on their merry way? How about in the grocery store? I know I’m guilty of that one since I now use my phone’s note app to make my grocery list. How many times have you taken your kids to the playground only to notice all of the adults with their heads down scrolling on their phones and not interacting with their kids or other adults for that matter? They even joked in the movie about how many people wake up in the morning and grab their phone to check it before they go pee, or while they are peeing! By the way, I’ve done both!

I recently read the story of the famous violinist Joshua Bell, and a performance that he did in a busy train depot as a social experiment. Here was one of the world’s most famous violinists playing a three million dollar violin and barely a soul stopped to take notice. This was a performer that commanded a large sum to play a concert and few people stopped for more than a minute or two to listen. Even as several young children tugged at their parents to stay, they were hurried along. The above quote by Iain Thomas really got me to thinking, because this is exactly what social media does to us! It grabs our attention and doesn’t let go! It shouts “This is important! And this is important!” It tugs as along until a period of time has passed and we realize just how long we have been hypnotized.

"Mindfulness is a way to live your life as if it really mattered."- Jon Kabat-Zinn