Making space for what matters

You won’t believe it.
I tried to go without my smartphone for a month!

It is really so difficult! It has become impossible.

I cannot not read my emails.
I cannot not go onto social media.
I cannot not go into Netflix.
I cannot not read posts.
I cannot not check for messages.

To make things worst, I had the opportunity to be in Singapore alone with my daughter, whilst the boys and their mother went on a mission trip.

Guess what? I found that I CAN do without the phone. BUT!
I could not NOT do anything and just spend the time with my kid!

I felt so restless, so I did household chores to occupy or distract myself. I did spring cleaning starting from the living room, to the kitchen, to the kids’ rooms, even washing the toilet. I even tried putting up the Christmas tree!

From a positive viewpoint, I could do so many things without being distracted by the smartphone! From a learning viewpoint, I could not just spend the time being with the child! It was such a rare opportunity to be with her alone.

On reflection, I recall one occasion where I brought the child out for a walk. That made me extremely awkward and restless. Very strange! Rather disappointing too! I felt that I needed to do something on my smartphone!

The saddest part? When I was doing all the household chores? My only kiddo with me for the week, took my phone to watch videos! This past month has been such an awakening!

With all the advancement in technology, to think we have our devices help us be more efficient, productive, and more focused (supposedly freeing us up to be less busy, since everything is now in the palms of our hands), it actually creates another place to be distracted, and does not add to our mental and social health.

I know through years of work, that little good comes from being distracted. And I was exactly that, distracted! I could not do nothing and just be with my kid. My entire disposition was not one that was at ease, much less focused on my child.

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, author of The Organised Mind, described how in our world today, tons of information is consumed by us via our smart devices every moment, and the information overload keeps us mired in noise. Attending to those information, also saps us of not only our willpower (of which we have a limited store) but creativity as well!

Time to reorg! Watch your back!


Contributed by Nicholas Gabriel Lim


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