The first article I read was a post (presumably on Craig’s List) by a restaurant comparing consumer behavior Then with consumer behavior Now. According to their analysis, it Now takes about an hour longer for diners to eat their meal. This is because of (wait for it) cell phones. The restaurant says people take longer to begin to look at menus because they are texting, surfing, whatev; diners ask servers to take photos, retake photos, and occasionally pose for photos; and diners take photos of food before eating which causes it to get cold which causes more food to be sent back to the kitchen which causes—you got it—everything to take longer.
The article our Bunny sent talks about how people born after 1985 (a marvy year) will never know what it’s like to be un-connected. Says the author: In the last decade, researchers have confirmed that moments of insight arrive not when the mind is in a clenched state, but when the mind is at ease, when we’re aimlessly walking down the street, lost in thought. From Archimedes to Poincare, many intellectual breakthroughs occurred in the midst of a perfectly inane daydream.
Huh? Sorry. My mind was wandering.
I saw a post on Facebook where two friends were remembering a trip to New York City pre-cell phone. They had to stop to ask strangers for directions, they had to wander into restaurants without the help of Yelp, they had to talk to each other while they waited for performance to begin. Oh, the horror.
It’s possible that the restaurant story is a bunch of hooey (especially since it’s been pulled off Craig’s List) but the idea is absolutely on point. Our minds don’t have time to do nothing. We don’t give our brains a chance to unclench, to meander. How many of us work on a computer while watching tv? (Guilty.)
What’s worse is that we don’t read an actual book (those papery things with bindings and lots of words). We don’t solve puzzles (well, some of us try).
My suggestion? Take a few minutes to stare out a window, contemplate the ceiling, meditate on the meaning of the day. Turn off the electronics for just a moment, and enjoy.