Welcome to another Sunday. We have an exciting week ahead – in the Boxing gym everyone will be getting a bit of a ‘break’ from my programming with each of the trainers (Leon, Tracey, Sophie, D’Arcy, Gabby and Emma) each reaching into their bag of tricks and coming up with a class. So throughout the month of May, I am out and everyone else is ‘IN’…and I know I for one am pretty excited about it. Whilst I do try to come up with a different ‘block’ of sessions for each month, just having some different eyes on it for a while will be a nice little refresh. Right now, I have SEEN the sessions and now (more than anything) I want to find out how they FEEL! Each of the trainers is tasked to complete 3x sessions at Round 1 EVERY WEEK as part of their employment here – the question is have they used this opportunity to program stuff they LOVE to do or rather the stuff they HATE to do (‘cos they want you all to suffer)…we are about to find out.
I posted last week about ‘The Hungry Brain’ and more specifically how the author Stephen Guyenet theorised that our ancient brains were ill prepared for a society where ‘abundance’ was the norm. I have continued my reading about (and around!) this subject and came across another really interesting piece from ‘The Growth Equation’ who talk about what they call ‘The Attention Economy’ and how our brains did not evolve in an environment where such constant high-levels of stimulation were the ‘every day normal’. They even linked off to a quote where the CEO of NetFlix noted that his company’s biggest competitor was SLEEP!!! I mean, for goodness sakes!
They then went on to talk about something I hadn’t really considered much in the past – that in order to ‘REDUCE’ the level of intrusion, you have to PAY for that privilege…with popular apps such as SPOTIFY and YouTUBE being PRIME examples of this. Essentially, if you want to listen to your favorite music, you can do that on SPOTIFY – it’s hard to listen to music WITHOUT using one of the streaming services these days because it’s not as if car stereo’s have CD players (cassette decks anyone?) in them anymore. But if you don’t sign-up and pay for the ‘premium’ service, well, you are 100% going to be hit (and hit hard) by advertising. And whilst I don’t think the service should be ‘free’, we are in this interesting trap now whereby WITHOUT paying for the privilege, even that ‘get in the car, turn the stereo on’ destress after a challenging workday is going to be another time where you cannot ‘get away’ from intrusions.
Let’s face it: ads are everywhere. Whether you’re scrolling through your social media feed or watching a video on YouTube, it seems like every other click results in an ad popping up. And while some ads are relatively harmless, others can be downright annoying. We’ve all experienced the frustration of trying to watch a video, only to be interrupted by an ad for a product we have no interest in. But the problem with ads goes beyond just being annoying. In many cases, ads can be downright creepy. Have you ever been talking to a friend about a product, only to see an ad for that exact product pop up on your phone a few minutes later? It’s like the apps are listening to our conversations (which, let’s be honest, they probably are).
So what’s the solution? Well – there really isn’t one – you can either invest in the advertising free (premium) version of the apps or put up with the interruptions – and I am not sure exactly how we have come to this point where simple economics has such a massive influence on the level of ‘INTERRUPTION’ that we NEED to accept into our lives. I am not much of a social media user but those times when I do get ‘stuck’ scrolling through my phone are times when I am either sleep deprived or stressed out by something in my life – in other words, when I am at my most vulnerable that’s when I get caught up in mindless ‘time wasting’.
Something is certainly going on and we each need to find a way to ‘disconnect’ from technology – well, not technology as such but rather the NOISE associated with technology – in order to find a way to relax and essentially just ‘GET AWAY’ from the constant intrusions we are bombarded with. And unfortunately, just trying to rely on your own ‘willpower’ or ‘self-discipline’ to do so is simply counterproductive – as I have already said, we are all at most risk when we are at our most-vulnerable (tired or stressed)…meaning we are at our most vulnerable when our willpower and self-discipline are at their LOWEST!!!
Social media isn’t really a problem for me but I have realised recently that emails on my phone 100% are – I look at my phone, the Mail icon has ‘a number’ on it (indicating new messages) and my stress levels automatically increase as I try to think ‘what is it’ (I never imagine anything good!) and how I will manage it…it was getting to the point where the first thing I would do each day was check emails…not a real priority I wouldn’t think. So over the last couple of weeks I have turned email notifications OFF on my phone – I have to go to the app to check…so my phone isn’t buzzing, flashing a banner etc each time a new message comes in. It is remarkable how such a simple change allows me to focus on my work (or whatever else I am trying to do) without interruption versus trying to ‘quickly’ look at the message and respond…
I guess my challenge to you is what brain candy do you have on your phone that you can easily turn off/disengage from in order to live a more ‘focussed’, interruption free life?
See you in the gym,
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