Relating this Viral Video to Our Lives
I was at a college baseball game recently and I observed that most kids were playing on their iPads and phones instead of interacting with each other or watching the game. There was however, one kid (probably 8 years old) who brought his own baseball and glove. With a big smile on his face, this 8 year old was running, jumping, diving, and throwing a baseball up against the wall so that the wall would feed him ground balls in return. His clothes had grass and dirt stains….. he was living! The most encouraging part was that after 30 minutes, the kids who were on their iPads decided to join him. Instead of mindlessly staring at a screen or playing Angry Birds, kids were now interacting with each other and playing ball. What a refreshing site!
This powerful video has over 40 million views. It has certainly struck a chord among our society. Now, technology is not inherently bad. In fact, technology often enables us to do amazing things. However, technology can also impact us in a negative way if we allow it to. How can you avoid these negative affects of technology? Start by running your technological appliances and not letting technological devices run you. We are often reactive because we’re bombarded by constant stimuli whether it’s iPhone apps, emails, text messages, etc. The morning is the most important step in your day without technology. Here’s how you can start your day in airplane mode.
Technology can also cause us to feel separated from each other. As it is, we compare ourselves to others on a day to day basis. As athletes, as students, and simply as human beings, we have been competing our whole lives. Who has the newest clothes? Who is the best quarterback? Who is the best looking? All of these thoughts flow through our heads far too often. The Instagrams and Facebooks of the world help to perpetuate this cycle. When we realize that we are all connected and that life is not a competition, we free ourselves from this unhealthy comparison complex. Instead, try a daily yoga or meditation practice to help you step away from technology and realize the beautiful universal connection that we all share.
What other positive steps can we take to combat the trend of technology overload?
If you think society is better off without such dependence on technology, we can follow the example of the 8 year old at the baseball game. No, not by diving for ground balls in the grass but by becoming a leader amongst your friends, family, and peers. Not a pushy, verbal leader, but perhaps a silent leader who leads by example. Lead by engaging in real conversations, by practicing yoga, by not watching TV, by going for a walk on the beach without your phone, or simply by making genuine eye contact, smiling and saying, “hi” to someone as your cross paths. If you take the lead, before you know it, friends, family, and fellow human beings will be following in your footsteps…. just like the young kids did at the baseball game.