I was spending a weekend at my partners house with her and her family and I couldn't help but notice how often we all ended up on our phones. We spend so much time on our expensive screens these days that it has become normal behaviour, however, it’s only when you lift your head up from time to time, do you realise there is a problem.
On the Saturday evening we had all sat to watch a film in the living room. We were all well wined and dined, courtesy of my partners mum Sarah, so we were all keen to laze around. I noticed when the film had stopped for the adverts, everyone, in unison, took out their phones and begun to mindlessly scroll through their favourite social media platforms looking of something to waste enough time for the adverts to be finished and film resumed.
This is where you realise that you’re only looking at your phone to waste time. This is the same as watching youtube, scrolling through Instagram, stalking a friend on Facebook or otherwise.
We do the same with our DVDs. As a part of my minimalism journey, I decided to sell all of my DVDs, all 80+ of them. I came to the conclusion that the only reason we display our DVDs on a shelf or stand-alone recycled bookcase, is to waste time.
Next time you think about watching a film from your large collection, ask yourself why. The most common reply is simply, ‘I’m in the mood for a film,’ but you’re not. You simply have nothing else more creative to do so you end up putting on a film that you have already seen one hundred times already.
I cant help but find this really concerning. When was the last time you looked at a book and said: “I’m going to read that again?” Reading involves using The occipital lobe which sits in the lower, back part of the brain. Containing the visual cortex, this lobe's principle purpose is to process visual information. This takes effort in other words but watching films, scrolling through Facebook or otherwise are ‘mindless’ activities. Reading novels, according to a study(see link below), can improve brain functions and enrich the visual cortex.
To tie all this together with a pretty little bow I would cautiously suggest that watching films and mindlessly scrolling through your social media feeds is not only wasting you time but not contributing to you mental growth. The effect of social media on the minds of the young is still an enigma to us but how can we appreciate the problems when we still have our own heads stuck in the devices that demand our attention and our allegiance?