It’s 8.30pm and you finally sit down after a hectic day at work, you’ve cooked and eaten dinner, been to the gym and emptied the dish washer. Your favourite program is on the TV and you relish in not having another task to do, email to read or phone call to dial through. Then, an autopilot reaction kicks in and your smartphone’s back in your hand, your fingers are scrolling and that fleeting moment of calm has passed quicker than the time it took to click ‘slide to unlock’.
The noise of digital is ever present and the pressure to be constantly ‘on’ is real. How many times have you been to dinner with friends only to be conversing with the back of an iPhone and finger tapping? You check emails before brushing your teeth, feel frantic if you don’t reply to a message within one minute and admire the seaside view from your Spanish hotel room through an Instagram filter. ‘Addiction’ is a strong word but it couldn’t be more appropriate.
At Idenna, we’re all bright young things – a generation brought up on groundbreaking innovations and important tech breakthroughs. 360° Video? Impressive. Apple Pay? Well done. It’s easy to become ambivalent to even the most awe-inspiring inventions but it’s clear that this 24-7 digital creature has invited itself onto our sofa, joins us for dinner and hops into our beds.
Share, post, like, read, comment, tweet, listen: chipping away at every last moment of our lives. We’ll inhabit an online chaos until we can no longer function without some sort of device, screen or digital platform in our grasp.
As digital marketeers, we need and thrive on these developments, it’s our passion and what we do on a daily basis. BUT, we must tune out to create thinking space, to remember what we enjoy most in [real] life and relish moments of monotony. Whatever you’re doing, do it 100%. Wherever you are, be all there. If you’re watching your favourite TV show, savour it. Put your phone down when you’re having a conversation and see the world with the two eyes you were blessed with.
Stepping off the relentless hamster-wheel does not mean we’re less committed, it just means we’re taking control of how we engage and interact with the digital sphere. Be strict about logging off, don’t read your emails while eating dinner and enjoy a Sunday outing without your phone. The belief that you may be missing out if you don’t check Facebook three times a day is most certainly, false.
Quiet time is essential for creativity, daydreaming is proven to help us learn, realise ambitions and visualise ideas, and mindfulness improves both physical and mental health.
“Creativity is just connecting things” said Steve Jobs. “When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.” Having the time and headspace to ‘see’ and wander about the world is a way to discover new connections and concepts. If we don’t create calm and allow our busy brains to turn ‘off’, where will the new ideas live and how will we find them?
By logging out, we’ll be in charge of the digital world we live in. It won’t be in charge of us.