What’s happened to mindfulness in the world of smartphones?

Several friends of mine frequently post motivational quotes, clip art, photos, and the like on their Facebook pages, myself included. My screensaver is actually a collection of images along these lines. The ironic thing is that, while we are finding and being exposed to these positive messages via the Internet, the messages themselves are at odds with the time, focus, and parts of ourselves that we give online. One frequently cited key to happiness, success, and so on, is living mindfully. In this day and age, it seems we can barely sit still at a traffic line or at line at the grocery store without texting, updating our Facebook status, playing games, or any of the other number of things we can do on our smartphones. It’s far from rare for people nowadays to simultaneously watch television, text their brother, update their fantasy football lineup, while eating dinner at the same time. Restaurants are full of people with heads down, fingers flying as they utilize one or more of the many features on their smartphones, while waiting for the waiter, their meal, the rest of their party, or even instead of speaking to the rest of the people in their party. The kicker of it is, our society seems to value multi-tasking, despite the obvious neglect that arises from spreading ourselves too thinly across too many ventures. It’s no wonder so many people are so plagued with stress, anxiety, depression, so unable to give their full attention to just one thing at a time, forget simply being still. What’s the cost of technology to our well-being? Is it worth it?

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