Amidst the pandemic, social unrest, and political ugliness, disengaging from the world is so alluring right now. The ability to do so, however, is a little more complicated. Disengagement means letting go of those devices and turning away from the social media that dominates our lives. And while we all want to be carefree, it is hard to break free from the world, even for a moment.
We are far more entangled with the world than we know. And the causes have a way of tying us in knots too. Thanks to social media, everyone’s life is open and accessible, which results in a lack of mystery in our lives. I have always found that when someone has a bit of mystery to them, they become more interesting and attractive.
The emotion and venom of the moment has worn thin and ultimately repels people. Oftentimes, I tell my kids that nobody will want to be around you if you are constantly whining. And nobody wants to hang out with people who are constantly browbeating, bullying or patronizing others. It is just not interesting or inspiring.
We live in a culture where people assume they can enter and observe anyone at anytime. There seems to be no boundaries. In business, we are expected to be available anytime, day or night—blurring the lines between work and personal time. We have blurred the lines between what is private and public. And we have blurred the lines of what is human and what is artificial.
There is an unspoken assumption that we can enter anyone’s life at any time due to technical connectivity. And we have consumed this without question. We share our feelings, emotions and dreams with everyone. Hell, we can’t even enjoy a sunset without taking a photo and sharing it with everyone as if they really cared. I mean a sunset is for you. How many people do you think look at a picture of a sunset that they cannot truly enjoy and wonder “boy I am so lucky that they sent me this pic”? If anything, it is simply bragging. It is rubbing it in their faces that they weren’t there.
How did we get here? Was it our addiction to immediate gratification? Is it a mass insecurity? Regardless, this moment in time should offer us the chance to detach from it all. Let go of the narrative that is being scripted by someone else. Stop giving away the best part of yourselves and start holding onto the stuff that should be exclusively yours. It is time to think for ourselves and recapture our lives. The time that can be saved is significant, but the enrichment gained from picking our heads up, observing the world quietly and keeping those moments for ourselves is priceless.
Detaching may be excruciatingly difficult, but we are already seeing the long-term effects of constant attachment. It is binding and limits our hearts and minds. Be bold and find some time to cut the cord.