How much of our lives are we willing to hand over to entities bent on controlling what we look at, what we hear, and what we see?
According to the NY Post, we Americans devote an average of 42% of our waking existence to staring at a screen.
That’s not okay. I’m not okay. Enough is enough.
I’m not okay knowing that nearly half my life has passed by unnoticed.
I’m not okay missing opportunities while stuck in a loop of endless scrolling.
I’m not okay being a slave to a screen, my attention wandering aimlessly from one notification to the next.
I’m not okay filling my mind with mediocrity.
I’m not okay sacrificing the quality and depth of my relationships at the altar of FOMO.
I’m not okay handing over control of my life.
I’m not okay losing control over my attention span.
I’m not okay becoming the new walking dead.
Because I am not okay, I have resolved that enough is f**king enough.
It’s time we take back control.
It’s time we free ourselves from the bondage of a tiny screen.
It’s time we savor the wonder of this astonishing existence.
It’s time we notice and seize every opportunity.
It’s time we educate, innovate, and motivate.
It’s time we invest more in face time and less in FaceTime.*
It’s about f**king time we look up.
* Sorry, Apple. You know I love you.
MORE ABOUT ME:
If you’ve scrolled this far, you made it through my ‘manifesto’ above, and perhaps you want to know more about where I come from and what I do.
Like most people living in the Pacific Northwest, I was born in California, but my parents moved to Washington when I was only 3, so I was never a full initiate into the SoCal way of living.
I grew up in a working class family, which means rocks and sticks were some of the best toys money couldn’t buy, and after high school, I skipped out on college in favor of life. After spending 8 years working for a manufacturing plant that paid me to travel the world and work with some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met, I left the blue collar lifestyle behind and adopted the life of a starving college student.
Problem was, I was 28, and I had to take my wife and two kids with me into that lifestyle. Lucky for me, they believed in me, right?
I started college at Washington State University as a physics major, partly because I thought I wanted to pursue theoretical physics as a career after having worked in research and development for the manufacturing company. My first calculus class cured me of that desire.
After deciding to have a third child, my wife, kids, and I moved to the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho area, where I transferred to North Idaho College. That was where I fell in love with the academic field of communication. See, physics had always fascinated me because of its inherent mystery and complexity, but nothing can compete with human behavior for that title.
I then transferred to Gonzaga University, where I fell in love with the Jesuit model of education, and I never left. I earned my BA, MA, and PhD from Gonzaga, all in the field of communication, with a taste of leadership studies thrown in for good measure.
For my doctorate, I studied the impact of mindful presence on father-child relationships, and that research changed my life. Today, I am a mindfulness and communication scholar, and my goal is to teach others about the importance of presence within our most precious relationships.
I now teach for the institutions I love (North Idaho College and Gonzaga), and it is such a privilege to earn an income for sitting around and talking all day with some of the brightest individuals on the planet.
As seen above in my personal and professional credo, the impetus for my work is the search for balance. I love technology, and don’t let anyone tell you different, but the level of distraction we face on a daily basis has the potential to create the walking dead in real life, only instead of flesh-eating zombies, we’re becoming dead to one another.
It’s time to wake up.
It’s time to take back control.