Do you recall the beginning of The Lord of the Rings?
Bilbo Baggins celebrates his eleventy-first birthday, makes a speech and covertly puts The Ring on his finger.
POOF! Suddenly he’s invisible.
While everybody is stunned, he sneaks back home to leave on a journey undisturbed.
But Gandalf the wizard awaits him…
G: I suppose you think that was terribly clever?
B: Come on Gandalf! Did you see their faces?
G: There are many magic rings in this world, Bilbo Baggins, and none of them should be used lightly.
B: It was just a bit of fun! Oh you’re probably right, as usual. You will keep an eye on Frodo, won’t you?
G: Two eyes — as often as I can spare them.
B: I’m leaving everything to him.
G: What about this ring of yours, is that staying too?
B: Yes, yes. It’s in an envelope over there on the mantelpiece.
No, wait, it’s — here in my pocket.
Heh, isn’t that, isn’t that odd though?
Sometimes I feel that way too. Like recently when I put our youngest to bed.
I intend to leave my phone on the table, but upstairs I notice it’s in my back pocket after all.
Isn’t that odd though?
Actually no. Books have been written on how to make apps as addictive as possible. When you use them often, it changes the part of your brain that regulates impulse control.
Sean Parker, one of Facebook’s founders, admitted it in 2017:
“We understood this consciously and we did it anyway. […] That thought process was all about how we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible.”
Social media devour your attention and breed distraction, FOMO and info overload.
“One ring to rule them all and in the darkness bind them.”
Meditation does the exact opposite.
It teaches you to consciously focus your attention. This breeds concentration, clarity and equanimity.
From now on, with some help from App Detox and Slim Launch, I only have access to Insta & co. during lunch breaks and after 8 PM.
It’s the revival of Batch It Crazy!
The time that I gain in this way goes to more walking and more meditation.
Speak Dutch and care to join me?
Click here to sign up for my new meditation sessions.