Recently, I went camping. (I can already hear some of you asking, "In this heat?" Yes, I know. It was hot.) In spite of a little rain and a lot of bugs, I had a wonderful time. Upon my return home, I realized why the trip had been so refreshing.
I had been totally disconnected from technology.
No phone, no computer, no tablet, nothing to keep me tethered to the constant flood of information we receive through our devices. I sat and listened to the trees. I thought about this past summer. I walked until I was so tired that I fell asleep as soon as I crawled into my sleeping bag. My legs were covered in mud and my hair was a complete mess, but I felt blissfully happy.
Now, don't get me wrong: I am no technophobe. I love learning about new platforms, integrating new technologies, and simply sharing on social media. But all that said, sometimes it gets to be too much.
In the wake of the Information Revolution, we are constantly receiving updates. We are learning about unfolding current events, hearing about life changes from friends, and seeing dozens of new discoveries every day. We have more information at our fingertips than ever before. You have a question? Google it. You want to learn about some obscure topic? Wikipedia it. You want to see what your friends are up to? Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat/TikTok it. What it used to take a lifetime to learn, we can access in a matter of seconds.
In many ways, this is great. We can be more educated, more connected, and more independent thanks to these innovations. We can take control over our own education. Knowledge is truly power.
But when do we process and reflect on all of this brand-new information? When do we sit down and think about what each piece of info means for us as individuals, as a community, and as a society? When do we consider how we want to use this data in our daily lives? How we can use this knowledge to better ourselves and each other?
To truly learn, we need to reflect as well as absorb.
We need to take the time to disconnect and sit with the information. For our knowledge to matter, we have to reflect on why it is important to us and how we can apply it.
Carve some time out for yourself. Maybe you can start to keep a weekly journal! Maybe you start to incorporate daily meditation. Or maybe you can have a regular coffee chat (san phones!) with a friend. Maybe you can even plan a camping trip.
You learn so much every day that it can be overwhelming. Don't forget to breathe.