Not that long ago, you woke up to your alarm clock. No notifications, messages, or emails.
You went to the bathroom, showered, and drove to work.
Maybe, you listened to the news on the way to work or turned on the Weather Channel before you left. If you are a morning person, there is also a chance you went out into the drive way and picked up the newspaper. The amount of information and the number of opinions would have been exposed to was limited either way.
Once you got to work, you worked. You chatted with your co-workers and maybe called a significant other on your lunch break, but for around eight hours you were disconnected from your life. You were playing a role in someone else’s play. You weren’t answering texts regarding family drama or friends who are pissed off at their boss. You weren’t reading comments about your favorite movie director being a piece of trash. You weren’t looking at a feed of information curated by a company whose goal is to trick you into buying things. You just worked, ate, interacted with folks, and went home.
By the time you got home, a lot of the day’s stressors had passed the fight or flight stage. Your significant other’s problem with a co-worker were several hours old and a little less dramatic. Your own bad experience with a customer wasn’t nearly as fresh and instead of unleashing onto your significant other, you were able to reign it in and explain how frustrating the situation was without an elevated heartrate.
In this not so distant past: the news, family drama, and injustices didn’t play out in real time. There wasn’t 24/7 coverage on your cell phone or computer. Most things were discussed once cooler heads had prevailed at a later date. You might tell your friend a week later about this bad interaction at work, but you didn’t text him right away. You had time to digest and process the experience, not just react.
I feel like all we do is react these days. We are bombarded from the moment we get up with information/opinions and we just respond. We don’t process. We give our knee jerk reactions via social media or texts, and I’m not sure the human brain works most efficiently that way. We react with fear or anger, because that’s what kept us safe in our primal days, but those reactions doesn’t serve nearly the same purpose in 2020.