Tuesday, March 12, 2024

The Benefits of Unplugging: Why It's Okay to Be Bored

I am thankful that I grew up when I did. Having to find something to do because there were only 12 channels and they all were snowy, the TV went off at midnight. You literally could not find anything on the airwaves. NO joke. The flag came onto the screen and you would hear the National Anthem before the TV went black. There were no cellphones, tablets, computers, video games, etc. You rode your bike, met up with friends, sat on a swing, read a book, played outside, and sometimes you would just think. Thinking is just as important as anything else you can do for yourself. Conscious thinking where you literally focus on what is happening to your mind and body at that moment. You are breathing, listening, focusing on life around you not in a phone or tablet. 

Imagine spending time with yourself. In your own thoughts. I have done my best thinking as well as creating when I was bored. It is okay to be bored. It is okay to be quiet.

The new generation is missing out on moments of quiet because we are filling their every moment with something. Kids as well as adults do not know how to just be. We have forgotten how important it is for the mind to ne still. 

Over the past few years I have noticed how different preschoolers are. I work with ages 3-4.5 year olds and then during the before and after care 5+ as well. Children NEED constant fulfillment, they are not use to having their needs not met immediately. They don't know how to just play, build, create. 

Even as adults we have our face in our phones or tablets. We are on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, games,  texting or whatever else we do on our phones. This past weekend I was waiting for my eyebrows to be done along with 9 other woman. All of us had our faces down. There were no human connections being made. I couldn't even tell you if I knew anyone in the room. I never looked up until it was my turn. At the doctor it's the same thing. We all patiently wait in the waiting room because we have something to keep our mind occupied. Zero connections with anyone. Why are we not connecting? In the past you could commiserate with another on the wait, make a friend in the waiting room, laugh and joke with a stranger. You really don't hear about that anymore. 

As humans we should be seeking these human connections. Why are we so okay being solitary all the time?  

I was at a family party a few weeks ago and the only child there who is about 3.5 was on her tablet the whole time. It allowed her parents I guess to be able to sit, eat and talk with family but this child is also family. She is not making connections with her extended family that she will not always see unless it is at a party. If she wasn't on her tablet family would have approached her, talked to her, engaged in ways people do. Make her laugh, give her a hug, make a connection! It's sad actually.

We as people need to make conscious efforts to stop, listen, be present. We are not teaching the future generation how to talk to others. How to make connections. It is so important to growth! 

Set up days to unplug.

  • Take the apps off your phone. If you make it harder to get to Facebook, Instagram, etc. You won't go on as often, every quiet moment you have. 
  • Call a friend. Do not text! Call. You are NOT connecting if you shoot a quick text. It is okay once in a while but we connect by listening, hearing, seeing.
  • Sit and listen to the world around you. Just be present. Give yourself time to be quiet with your own thoughts. You may even find yourself at peace more often that not. 

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