• Patrick McAndrew

Finding Calm in a Sea of Noise

We are a rapidly expanding, global, technological society.  There are inventions being made and accomplishments being overcome that would have been considered impossible or in the realm of science fiction only 50 years ago.  We have smartphones, smart devices, and soon enough smart homes and smart towns will become mainstream.

In a lot of ways, this is exciting.  It’s neat to fantasize what it would be like to live in the future. “This is the future!” as some tech enthusiasts might claim.  With this said, it’s very easy to get lost in all the noise and excitement and to lose focus on what really matters in life.  While we grow more connected in the online world, we want to make sure we keep our two feet on the ground and recognize the real world around us.

I believe many of us try to find fulfillment in the intangible, that being online through social media, email, or entertainment.  We should strive to discover fulfillment in the tangible, that being our human relationships, nature, and the projects we create.  If we focus on the tangible, it will leave us feeling happier because it’s something that is not nebulous.  It isn’t a gray area.

So much of the correlation between depression and anxiety and how much time we spend on our screens has to do with the fact that we are looking for acceptance and justification throughout online platforms.  We are looking for validation when we post a comment or a photo.  We are looking for a feeling of want.  This is why so many young people are using social media to try and become famous.  They want recognition; they want to be known.  This, I think, is common among most human beings, but technology and, more specifically social media, expedites the issue.

It’s very easy to get lost in the rabbit hole of technology.  There is so much noise that we can lose our way.  Clawing ourselves out of this hole is hopeless.  In order to not fall down the hole in the first place, we need to recognize what truly makes us feel fulfilled.  We must be intentional with how we are using technology.  We must not use it as a cure for boredom, at least not on a regular basis.

In some ways, we can actually use technology to curb our bad habits and increase our productivity.  Reviews.com recently gave an in-depth and comprehensive review of the best smart hubs to use in our homes, those being the Samsung SmartThings Hub, Amazon Echo Plus, and Google Home Max.  They go into depth regarding how these smart hubs best serve us as individuals based on our own needs.  Not every hub is for everyone and it’s up to us to decide which one best fits our lifestyle (or even if no smart hubs fit our lifestyle!).

Reviews.com does an exceptional job of reviewing technologies that can be used to serve us, rather than us serving technology.  We want to be exposed to technology that will allow us to be more productive and better manage our time, instead of technology that is going to waste away hours each day.  Whether it’s smart hubs or other apps or devices, we must welcome technology that will allow us to utilize our time more efficiently.

While tech design is one element of this, we must allow ourselves to adopt new digital wellness habits.  We must strive to be present in the moment when we are engaged in a conversation or perhaps traveling to a new destination.  We must make time to do activities outside of the screen, as I mentioned in my last article.  We must cultivate our listening and awareness skills.  This is how we better understand the world around us.  This is what helps us live life to the fullest.

We can find calm and inner peace among a sea of noise if we allow ourselves to find it.  This is the key.  We are in as much control as we allow ourselves to be.  Strive to be mindful with how you use your time and you will develop an inner calmness that will serve you for life!

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