A friend of mine recently went to Mexico; the airports coming and going were packed. Long lines snaked through the terminal as people waited to go through security. As they waited, some texted, and texted and texted – one after another – totally oblivious of their surroundings until the moment the agent asked for their boarding pass and identification.Then they “woke up” and started pawing through their bags and pockets for the proper documents. Each distracted traveler held up the line for 30 seconds or more. “Thirty seconds isn’t so long,” you might think; but consider that you’re the 40th person in line and every third or fourth person is unprepared when they get to the agent. How long does it feel to you now?
Texting has become a national epidemic (or pastime depending on your point of view). I’m guilty of it and you probably are too. It’s a quick, easy, convenient way to communicate. Texting becomes a problem when the texter is so into what they’re doing that they are totally unmindful of their surroundings.
In all fairness, it’s not only texters who are unmindful. Most of us are. Our world is getting more complicated and technology is time consuming – or at least we’re spending more time with it. Remember the propaganda that computers would eliminate work and make our jobs easier? (How many ways can you say, “liar, liar, pants on fire?”)
Mindlessness is also unhealthy. HealthGuide.org in collaboration with the Harvard Medical School discovered that mindfulness is a key element in happiness. Mindfulness improves well being by:
• Making it easier to savor pleasures in life as they occur• Being more fully engaged in activities
• Relieving stress
• Lowering blood pressure
• Reducing chronic pain
• Improving sleep.
By focusing on the here and now, people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past. They are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.
So, ignore the findings if you want, but don’t call me the next time you’re texting and walk into a lamp post, or a wall or an oncoming car. It’s your own darn fault.
Please tell me what you think of this blog.
“Don’t do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your ass off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts.”
~ Henry Rollins