Give Me Your Attention Right Damn NOW
This is the Most Important Thing, EVER
“Psst. Hey. Look over here!”
“No, Dummy. This way. It’s better here.”
“Wait, I can show you how to lose 10 lbs. in a week!”
“Naw, Boo. You look fine. Click this link to make a fortune with cryptocurrency.”
“Crypto is dog shit. NFT is the way to go. Check out our website here.”
“Man, all of these ads are making you hungry. You deserve a break today.”
“No! She wants it HER way. Burger King is way better than Mickey D’s.”
“No way! Don’t you want to hear the latest Kardashian news?”
“No, he wants to hear what Kanye just said!“
It’s a wonder we ever feel at peace during our daily routines. Short of the time we finally go to sleep each night, there is rarely a spare few minutes in this busy, greedy world of ours when someone or something isn’t vying for our attention.
It’s that time of the year when consumer-driven greed is at its pinnacle. Commercials are all over TV and the internet, begging us to take a look at the latest, greatest thing in the world.
“YOU MUST HAVE THIS ____________ !”
No, I really don’t have to. And I don’t appreciate you plastering my social media pages with “suggested for you” ads. Nobody told you to cater your pop-up ads to my browsing history.
I’m struggling this holiday season with all of the background noise. So much of it is Christmas-related nonsense. Stores, companies, and websites are attempting to bombard us with the feeling that we have to have the latest, greatest products.
Or they’re telling us that our families, friends, spouses, and significant others will love us more if we buy them more gifts. Better gifts. Gifts that they are offering ON SALE. After all, ’tis the season.
I don’t think I’m alone in all of this. I’m actually having a hell of a time getting my kids to give us ideas of some things they’d like for Christmas. Only my daughter and I have given our other three immediate family members a few ideas in our family group chat.
Ok, 3 lumps of coal it is.
All kidding aside, I get it. We’ve all done this Christmas thing many times before. My Bride and I have lived through a combined 100 Christmases now. Our oldest two are in college and not too concerned about a Christmas list here in early December. I truly am vibing with them on this.
I have been feeling this way about life beyond the holidays, as well. The internet is driving me nuts lately. I get so many pop-up ads on my phone when reading news and articles, I just want to smash it.
There’s an idea! New phone for Dad, for Christmas. Or a screen replacement, at least.
Social media is no better. Every post seems to scream, “NOTICE ME!”, “RIGHT HERE!”, or “Click here for MORE info!” It’s exhausting to read so many messages from people we know or even total strangers, demanding our attention.
I see how this also translates to Medium. Though most of us are good about not demanding other writers read our blogs and articles, we know that everyone wants this. As much stat-checking as I do, and using catchy titles to grab other readers' and writers’ attention, I can only imagine others are hoping for more and more attention for their writing.
It makes sense. We want to be heard. We have a need to be noticed, appreciated, told that we’re pretty and that our writing is magnificent. We are attention-seekers.
It’s part of the human condition. Most people are looking for appreciation, validation, and love. We want to feel we’re important. In a world with over 8 billion human souls, we want to stand out.
It can be exhausting. So many messages, all of these voices, and the need to give our attention to more things than what comes back to us make life stressful and restless. How can we feel more at peace with all of this?
I supposed it starts by spending less time on devices. Before everyone had a little portable recording studio, a broadcasting company, and a huge audience of followers built into our little magic boxes, things were a bit easier to focus on.
We’ve become so uncomfortable not staring at these small screens with the world and all of its messages bombarding us, that we don’t know how to live in the moment. We’re far too easily distracted.
Don’t believe me? Try this experiment. Go to a place of business. Preferably one with a line that you’re going to have to stand in, or a waiting room you’ll have to sit in for a number of minutes. No sweat, right?
Wrong. Try it while leaving your phone in the car.
I’ve done this a couple of times accidentally. I’ve left my phone at home absentmindedly or in the car by mistake. Being inside a place where you’re waiting or standing in line without your phone is borderline torture.
“Where do I look? What will I read? I don’t even know what to do with my hands…”
This is because we’ve become addicted to scrolling. We read, we scroll. We click on the next story or post, we scroll. We check our favorite five of six apps, we scroll. We check in with a friend or two, we scroll.
It’s no wonder it’s so difficult to find a feeling of genuine peace and happiness around the holidays. Or during other months of the year.
This holiday season, I challenge you to do things a bit differently. Stop holding that phone in your hand every waking minute of your day. Put it down. It doesn’t have to be some drastic amount of time. Start with 15 or 30 minutes. Don’t touch your phone for those lengths of time.
“Well, what will I do? What if someone messages me? What if I hear a notification go off? Am I just supposed to ignore it?”
Give it a shot. When 15 minutes turns to 30, give 60 a try. Find something to do that doesn’t involve screens. Cuddle your dog. Take that nap you’ve been putting off. Maybe get to the gym or take a walk. The messages will be there when you come back.
Life existed before technology. Let someone else get bombarded with all of these messages that are being constantly thrown at us through our phones. Here’s hoping your holiday season is more about peacefulness and rest rather than consumer-driven greed and clicks. &:^)
About the Creator
The Godfather of Medium. 56x Top Writer. I love blogging about family, politics, relationships, humor, and writing. Read my blog here! &:^)
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