Use Your Device to Meditate and Help Reduce Screen Addiction

Atualizado: 17 de Out de 2019

Screen addiction is a time consuming and health degrading issue that can affect anyone at any phase of their lives. Asking for professional help is crucial. But this meditation method can also be helpful.

One of the main reasons people get addicted to screens is that as sentient beings, we are prone to get distracted by our senses. Visual distractions are the most powerful ones, and there are many places online that you could get a never-ending flow of pictures. When we look at a photo, what we see depends heavily on the internal concepts we have created since we were born and our imagination. This mindset is continuously changing from time to time, so you can find a picture of a flower to be beautiful when you are in a bright day and the same image to be just ok in a day you are feeling blue. Interestingly, a picture has nothing inherent to create what you see on it. Even this text, while you are reading it on a screen is lacking any independent form to define how you are viewing it. Any image on any screen can be broken down into small and meaningless pixels. By following this reasoning, we can exploit this architectural characteristic as a hack to reduce or even get over with our screen addiction since, actuality, there is nothing there to be addicted to.

Using Meditation to Reduce Screen Addiction

A welcoming place to meditate. Bring Your Own Device.

Meditation increases our mindfulness and helps us take back control of our emotions and how much we get affected by images and other distractions. Many meditation techniques can be found in the literature and among many religious traditions. Object Focused Meditation is a secure method for anyone and can be used effectively to improve our awareness on the screen addiction issue. First, find somewhere quiet, not too cold or hot, and with no distractions. Get your device and configure it never to lock the screen and open the app you are addicted to the most - let us say it is Instagram, for example. Place the device far enough from your eye-sight that it is hard to read anything on the screen but close enough for you to recognize what app is open. Sit still with your eyes opened, mouth closed but relaxed, and your back straight. Your goal is to look at the Instagram app and notice all the thoughts going thru your mind. Do not worry if you find yourself surrounded by many feelings. Make no effort to avoid them and, at the same time, do not pay attention to them. If you find yourself following your thoughts one-to-another, turn back your focus to the device screen again.

This simple method - when practiced over and over again - helps reduce your attachment to the device - and the app you are looking at - because it changes the way you see it. When you first stair at it, you will see a picture of someone that you probably like or not, because you think he or she is a good or bad person, attractive one or not in an app you believe is excellent, installed in a smartphone you also think is fancy. As you practice more and more, this view will gradually change, and you may find out some interesting things:

- You are not that sure about how you feel about that person anymore.

- You are overvaluing how vital the app - and the device is to you. It is not as exciting as it used to be.

- You do not need the app to feel good about yourself and comparing yourself to others is a stupid thing to do.

Sometimes we need to stop and rethink our relationship with technology and recreate it in a way that we can live a happier, meaningful life.

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