Ways To Avoid Getting Lost In The Black Hole
It sits across from me, a beckoning black hole.
One slip in, and I'm flying across different worlds. Realities whirl past in 140-characters and neatly designed photo layouts.
I get lost in those realities. Time no longer exists. A call from my son or the timer on the oven is sometimes the only thing that zips me back - *whhp* - back to here and now.
Facebook, blogs, Pinterest, Twitter, Tedx, YouTube, NPR, -- news updates, gorgeous vintage environments, spiritual inspiration, how to repurpose an empty toilet paper roll, what your friend had for breakfast ... you name it, you can access it through the black hole.
Different realities, all with their own value.
What I'm suggesting might surprise you:
Get lost. Go ahead, dive in.
There are worlds beyond our understanding, information and inspiration available at the touch of a button and swipe on the screen.
But first, tether yourself. Tie the rope of your reality around your waist and don't let go.
- Set a timer. Screen goes off when it does.
- Every time you switch to a new page, look up. Spend 30 second studying something in your environment in delicious detail.
- Get lost while running on the treadmill...and when you run out of breath, the online journey runs out of time. (Note: I'd only recommend this for slower and extraneous activity on the treadmill - not during your regular workout when your mind is focused on your body and its strength.)
- Be 100% mindful about your use before you dive in. Take a few breaths, ground in this moment, consider why you are looking online. If you can't think of a valuable reason (and "I have nothing else to do" doesn't count), don't dive in.
- Ask a friend to call you (or email, if it will pop up on your screen!) in 20 minutes. Discuss what you've searched, or just thank her for pulling you back into this reality.
- Set regularly scheduled times to dive, head first, into the black hole. Enjoy these wondrous times of exploration. Spend the rest of your time actually exploring your own environment.
- Cover the black hole. Don't leave your phone where it is visible. If you are expecting calls, cover it with something so you can still hear the ring, but aren't tempted to check it for notifications. If you aren't, turn off your phone.
- Go in with a purpose. Once you've found what you are looking for, hop back out.
We all have our black holes, whether they lead to Pinterest, searches on sports or the news, ways to decorate the home....or meetings at work, thoughts about how you could have responded, or dreams of what might be someday.
I encourage you to find something, anything to tether you to this here and now. Take a deep breath, dive in...and then return to the breath.
Please share: Where does your black hole lead? What ways have you found to get yourself out?