During the week, I was flicking through Wednesday’s free-issue Stylist magazine when I came across a piece on The Art Of Mindfulness which postulates that, with technology at our fingertips and able to deliver (almost) every whim and passing fancy, we have lost the ability to live in the now.
“The internet felt like an amazing opportunity but it’s made us slaves. And unable to live in the now.”
Both Susan Maushart (In The Winter Of Our Discontent) and David E Mayer (director of University of Michigan‘s Brain Cognition and Action Laboratory) suggest that multi-tasking is a myth and that what we are actually experiencing is the brain focusing and re-focusing so quickly on consecutive tasks that we are left feeling forgetful and unfulfilled.
I was quite inspired by this notion of being in the ‘now’ so I spent the back half of last week resisting the temptation to flit between facebook, emails, sms-ing and reading during my commute – ‘trying the idea on’ so to speak. I heard the classical strains of Vivaldi as I passed through Vauxhall Station in the morning, saw the gorgeous pink sunset from the train window on Thursday night (no photo to share because I was just looking at and enjoying it) and laughed until my eyes watered at my Turkish friend’s rendition of an 80s-song-to-remain-unnamed (because I can’t remember it!) on Friday night’s commute.
So this morning I was catching up on some of my fellow bloggers musings from the week and in the spirit of mindfulness, read with single-minded determination (that means all the way through – that’s right, from beginning to end – in one sitting) the latest post from Seen The Elephant about expat Russian accordionist Alexander Sheykin. Click here, be still, and be moved by some of the most beautiful and haunting music I’ve ever experienced.
And all through the wonders of the internet.
Wow, I'd never considered that multi-tasking could have such a negative effect. We're told MT is a positive thing in todays world and no-one questions it. Have to say when I have a day without phones/internet/social media I do feel happier just hadn't made the connection!
Amen to that!
So true. It's amazing what you can hear/see/experience when you drop the 'to do' list, step away from connectivity, stop multi-tasking and simply be in the moment.