Living an Undistracted Life
You’ve been scrolling on your phone for an hour, swiping through meaningless Instagram photos.
You’ve been watching video after video on YouTube, caught in an endless loop and not looking for anything in particular.
You’ve been binging Netflix shows after work, drowning in episode after episode with no end in sight.
You set your cellphone down and then pick it up automatically just a moment later, although you have no reason to be back on your cellphone.
You’re in a conversation with a friend and feel the familiar notification buzz in your pocket from your cellphone. You reach for your phone, unintentionally cutting off your friend as they’re speaking.
We’ve all been there. If you think those situations apply to your own life, you’re not alone.
It’s no secret that we live in an age of distraction. We live in an age where a million things are vying for our attention at the same time.
Whether it’s our smartphones, our televisions, our laptops, or our email inbox, we’re constantly bombarded by notifications, texts, posts, tweets, emails, calls, and advertisements.
We may not realize it, but we’ve fallen prey to the constant bombardment. We’ve let distractions interfere with our personal relationships and our friendships.
I know that I’m guilty of this, especially when it comes to my cellphone. I’ve often been in meetings or conversations with friends when I feel that familiar buzz of the phone in my pocket.
My thoughts immediately wander from the conversation at hand and focus on the notification.
Who just texted me? What could they be texting me about? What if it’s an emergency?
I make an excuse to look at my phone, and, more often than not, it’s just a meaningless notification. 99% of the time the distraction isn’t urgent.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, does it? We don’t have to fall prey to distraction.
There are some people who seem to have escaped distraction. I know people—and maybe you know them too—who are content without the distraction of social media and cellphones.
Those people are like a breath of fresh air. Have you ever met those people who are so intentional with their time and just effortlessly live in the present?
I want to be that way. I want to be audaciously attentive to the present; I don’t want to live a life of distraction.
How do you stay undistracted? What are some ways you’re living in the present?
© Aaron Schnoor 2023