Have you ever become interested in an area where you will become all-consumed? You end up investing a lot of time, energy and money in your new pursuit(s). You develop a passion and a good level of competency. Then, boredom hits you. You slowly lose interest in the projects that you were once so devoted to. You try to resist, but it becomes increasingly harder, and in the end, you “give up.” Then another area of interest catches your attention and you dive in with the same vigorous passion until you once again become disinterested. It becomes a cycle of multiple pursuits which eventually end up being abandoned for something new.
One of the first things I reach for the moment after I opened my eyes is my phone. I launch my apps accordingly: Facebook and Instagram. In auto modus, I scroll mindlessly through each respective feed searching for something eye-catching and something for me to 'like.' This has become a ritual that I do every morning, and unable to shake. I am feeding my mind subconsciously with irrelevant and unimportant and sometimes, soul-destroying content. Does this seem a bit too dramatic? Well, studies (Vogel et al, 2014; Lee, 2014; Vries and Kühne, 2015) reveal that there is a high correlation between self-esteem and Facebook 'lurking.' We are thought to have the need to compare ourselves with others, in order for us to fulfill our sense of connection, self-worth and social status. This could be a healthy mean of measurement for development, for example: seeing your classmate bragging on Facebook about finally finishing the paper that you have been avoiding. Seeing that post may push you to get your butt in gear and finish that paper. On the other hand, it may have a detrimental effect of measurement, seeing your feed with a multitude of announcements of the latest travel adventures, new jobs, photos of nights out, and my personal favourite: it is the weekend (working in the customer service industry, I am painfully acquainted with there is no such thing as a weekend). May result in you feeling inadequate and a sense of failure.
You are sitting in the café with your friend, whom you have not seen for a while as your busy life schedules take its toll. You have been looking forward to catching up with each other, and you finally managed to arrange a coffee date. As you sit down, taking off your coat, you place your phone on the table and consider your coffee options. You carry on chatting to your friend and think nothing more of it. Of course, why should you think more about it? Recently, this happened to me, except over coffee it was over a pint and it was not left unnoticed. My friend pointed out to me that he had read an article that we are unconsciously leaving our phones visibly in front of us. I looked at my phone and suddenly realised I always leave my phone visibly on the table. I quickly took my phone and put it in my bag, out of sight.