By Magdalena Knapp, Editor
Busy, stressed out, exhausted – These three words describe the average human being nowadays. We are always connected and in touch with everyone, always available to everyone, and respond to messages within minutes. For example right now, I bet that your phone is no more than three inches away from you. We run around, do things, meet with people, rush from one appointment to the next one. We do not even have time to sit down and enjoy a meal, but thank God, someone invented corn dogs, wraps and other foods you can grab and eat with one hand while you are on the phone running across the street, and almost be hit by an Uber that is driving another person in a hurry to their next appointment. STOP. When did our society become like this? Is there anything we can do, or is this simply another fact we have to accept like our first grey hair?
How could our ancestors survive without phones? They did not know what time it was, and still survived. I bet Plato never told Aristotle or his other students “Hurry up y’all, I gotta catch my flight to the meeting I have in downtown Sparta!” Our ancestors did what they could do in one day, and what they did not do, they did it the next day. They did not worry about the amount of steps they made in a day, or the apple watch that kept yelling at them they they still had 50’000 steps to make, to reach their daily goal. Only a few people in our modern society would describe their life as relaxed, and when they do so, they are called “lazy”. We almost think that we have to be stressed out in our contemporary world, because everyone is. We feel guilty if we do not feel stressed out.
Even when we find an hour were we are not busy, we still try to fill that hour. We try to find something to do. Is this some kind of ascetic self-denial? We find it satisfying to be stressed out. So maybe it is not self-denial, but rather sadomasochism. What can we do to change this, if we want to change it for our future generations and our current life?
Some ideas are: leave your phone at home, or store it somewhere where you cannot see it all the time. Even accepting that sleep should not be used to relax, as Mr. Darvell, professor for Stress Management at the McKendree University says, we should all probably get more sleep. Sleep is essential for human beings, we get to recharge our batteries, and assimilate the things that happened throughout the day. When we get enough sleep it can improve our immune system, our metabolism, and most importantly for college students, it can improve their memory and learning abilities. In addition to these benefits, there is a link between lack of sleep and depression.
We need activities in our life that simply bring us joy, make us laugh more, and do not involve constant multitasking. When you eat, you simply eat. You do not need to be checking Facebook, Instagram, or your emails. Multitasking can have bad impacts on your quality of life. It not only makes you more prone to making mistakes, but you also miss out on so many things. Let us have a look at our children. Some parents are always staring at their phone while their children are talking to them, or some friends who are sitting at a table and having a conversation, are also always on their phone. In these moments you miss the essential things! Your children are not going to be children forever, so enjoy the time you get to spend with them. And who knows when you will get to see your friends again, since we are all so busy 24/7! All you have to do is to put your phone away, and enjoy the moment. Soak up every second and every encounter, stop while you are walking along the streets and look at the flowers, or the ceiling; “forget” your phone at home for one day, and leave your laptop uncharged, you will see how these little things, done every once in a while, will raise your quality of life. Our 21st century society needs to take a breath and get back from a human doing to a human being.