Erling Kagge, the Author of a book on silence, wrote the following:
“Our constant flight from ourselves is a reality so brutal that we try to avoid thinking about it. We would rather think and feel anything else.”
How applicable is this to us?
Living in the Information Age means we are no further than a few meters from accessing information from around the world at any given time. For the average person, being idle is completely avoidable and is disliked by default. Whereas in the past people may have been idle and bored out of their mind, today it takes an active choice to stop what you are doing and be doing nothing.
Why would we choose to be idle and therefore bored when we could be doing something? Isn’t something better than nothing?
No. Quite often, nothing is better than the something we choose to do instead.
But why is that? Isnt doing nothing a waste of time?
Its important to define here what we mean by doing nothing. It doesn’t have to mean sitting silently in a room literally not doing anything (although it can). It can mean limiting yourself to using anything around you other than your phone or tablet for the next hour. Anything that facilitates external, irrelevant communication that wouldn’t otherwise be possible can be left off until later in the day.
Doing nothing here would mean restraining your gaze from the horizon for the moment and looking back down at your feet. It would mean awakening from the mirage of constant advertising and being told what to think and looking at the reality of your own situation.
It’s also fair to say that many of us have feelings and past traumas that lie undealt within us. Our constant looking outwards, our always on, always activated lives don’t afford us any opportunity to look within ourselves and to address these feelings. We are otherwise oblivious to our own internal needs and feelings, any drama occurring anywhere in the world, no matter how petty or irrelevant is preferable to facing our own selves and dealing with our own issues.
Take the time to consciously realise what we are doing during those moments when we are endlessly scrolling and to ask ourselves if the time would be better spent on doing nothing, either literally or figuratively. It might feel uncomfortable, or even somewhat scary, but the alternative in never coming to terms with your own feelings and thoughts is even scarier.
Be at peace with yourself.