Thursday, July 16, 2015

Our New Reality. Our New Largest Distraction.

There is no doubt that the world we live in today is changing exponentially. What we considered normal, typical, and usual 10 years ago is out the window. We live in a new reality.

We get our information on a daily basis differently than we did even FIVE years ago. We interact differently. We chose to spend our time in ways that were not even possible a decade ago.

Instead of waking up to read the newspaper, we read our Facebook newsfeed. We learn about what is going on in other people's lives instead of what is going on in the world. We read twitter instead of watching the news. We text instead of call. We FaceTime instead of visiting. We use our phone GPS instead of asking for directions. We all have a platform to instantly tell hundreds, thousands of our friends/colleagues/acquaintances what we are doing, what we are eating, how often we go to the gym. We use that platform to instantly let thousands of people know our opinions about any given topic.

And most importantly. We rarely live with many questions, doubts, or uncertainly.

Why? Because we can instantly Google anything.

The internet has changed our lives in ways we could have never dreamed of. My generation of people born in the late 80's were able to see it all. The huge computers where you could only play games, and you had to type in weird code just to make it work. Then the internet came and it was slow and only had about 10 websites. Everything went through America Online. The computer sounded like a fax machine every time you wanted to connect to the internet. You even couldn't be on the house phone and the internet at the same time. Then came "cable internet" and the wait time completely vanished. Without even realizing it, you would spend much more time on the computer. Come home from school, go on the computer and message your friends instead of going outside.

But NOW - all of those computers that we wasted hours on instead of going outside - are in our pockets. 

Lets be honest. They are NOT phones. They are computers. Smart phones today are more powerful that ANY computer from 1990. And they are hand-sized and fit in our pockets. We take them everywhere we go.

Anytime we get bored, have a question, need to see what other people are doing, want to take a picture, get lost, want to hear music, want to talk to a friend, want to send a e-mail, want to watch a video, movie, or TV show, need a calculator, need to know the weather for the week, need to know the score of the ballgame, need to book a plane ticket, want to find a place to we ask other people? NO - we use our phones. Instantly. Instant gratification.

 We live in a world of SELF and instant gratification.

The internet and the rapid never-ending availability of it has changed us. ALL of us. 

Most notably - It has changed the way we interact with one another.

And this is something that is grossly underestimated. 

Food. Water. Shelter. AND Human Interaction. 

It IS a basic human necessity.  

The way that it has changed and diminished, has changed us. We are different people now. Our ancestors would not even know what do to with us.  

But we must realize - WE do not even know what to do with US.

Our reliance on technology has changed the way we behave, think, and react.

We have become so used to the instant gratification of knowledge and information, that it seems we have disabled ourselves from allowing information to come into our minds any differently.

We have greatly diminished our ability to GROW.         

Today, kids are introduced to this new technology at a very early age. The age of Language Acquisition. The age where our brains are like sponges and soak in the information around us. 

Look at any child development book from before smartphones. How do they say babies learn? From watching, imitating, and positive reinforcement.  

I am sure we all know one baby or toddler that knows how to unlock an iPad, type in the password, and find his/her favorite game amongst the numerous apps. 

That is NOT a skill worth having.

These children will play simple games where they are able to use their index finger to accomplish goals. A small cheering sound will play when they get something right, and they are immediately able to move on to the next task, without ever being able to bask in their accomplishment.  

The key here is that they are using their finger to accomplish the goal. NOT their voice. 

Why do you think language delays are on the rise? More parents are getting upset over the lack of words their child is able to say by 3 years old. 

And there is no doubt that these effects linger into teenage and adult years.

I am sure all of us have been caught staring into our phones an inopportune times. I am just as guilty as everyone else.

I have been in the middle of conversations where I have pulled out my phone to check the time, facebook, instagram, and text messages. 

The MIDDLE of an actual human conversation. That is a serious problem. 

Like I said earlier, human-human interaction is a basic human necessity. I see a major correlation to the decrease in human-human interaction and the increase in gun violence across the country.

What is happening here is that we are falling away from what makes us special. We are moving away from what allows us to GROW.    

I have said many times in this blog that meeting new people is one of the most important things you will do in your life. They will forever be more interesting than any movie or TV show you will watch. Every person is a UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL, with their own stories, experiences, and opinions. 

As human beings we learn the most from meeting new people. 

"Oh I never saw it that way!" - That is a strong quote! That is something you say after having an intellectual quote with another person. 

Stepping out of your comfort zone is key to personal growth. How can you grow if you are glued to your phone? How can you grow if you all of your relationships are technological? 

Part of what makes us special as human beings is our ability to empathize, love, motivate, and help others. We FEEL for one another. We have the ability to LOVE, LEARN, and LAUGH with one another. We cannot do this to our fullest potential if we do not have REAL RELATIONSHIPS. 

Do you have a goal you want to accomplish? Do you want to achieve something? Do you want a better life with more success? OF COURSE YOU DO! Everyone does! Everyone wants to be something better, something bigger. 

I am telling you right now. The road to success is NOT easy. If you want to be great and you want to achieve something great. You have to go out there and EARN it. 

Malcolm Gladwell describes it in his 10,000 hour rule. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. He didn't give up, he practiced and outworked his competition. He became the greatest athlete of all time. Everyone that has true success worked for it. They had a passion and love for what they were doing. Just like I do with this blog and Life Coaching people in need.

This blog is all about helping others. I want to be all about helping others. I want other people to be happy and get what they deserve. 

And the simple matter is that success does not come without the sacrifice of distractions. 

The beloved cell-phone of yours is a major distraction. And it is changing you. It is changing the way your brain works and functions. Ever spend a few hours away from your phone? Did you start to get a little anxious and uncomfortable? That's called cell-phone separation anxiety and it is a REAL thing in today's world. 

What really worries me is today's schools. How are teachers able to teach with all the kids on their cell phones? Every student has a palm-sized super computer in their pockets. How are kids able to pay attention to the teacher? I am sure their attention spans are shorter than ever. I wonder what recess looks like these days? Are kids playing on the playgrounds and swings? Or are they sitting on the grass playing with their phones and iPads?

This is why I am a major advocate for education reform! We are different people now, so education should change along with our changes. No more common core!

In order to achieve your wildest dreams you need to have tunnel vision and focus on what is important in life. Your friend's facebook status or newest instagram picture is not what's important.  

Pick up a book. Do some research into what you love. Attain wisdom. Learn a new skill. Achieve Mastery.  

Make the necessary sacrifices. Make the right choices. And you will Grow NOW. 


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