It’s hard to imagine that we are barely a century away from the invention of the automobile and the airplane. The rate of advancement in technology and science is stunning, and it seems sometimes as if there is no problem that we can’t solve. While that might be true for science, it may not be true in the arena of personal health. Recent studies continue to show that we are facing an epidemic of depression, as anxiety, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts are higher in young adults than ever before.
This increase is largely attributed to the expansion of digital devices, which has also led to an upward trend in feelings of being bored and lonely. While many are doing more online-only socializing, they might also be getting less quality sleep because blue-light augments these negative feelings. There is also a whole other side to this problem that nobody is talking about.
This rise has been correlated to the proliferation of digital devices, whose integration into every facet of our everyday lives has increased our feelings of boredom and loneliness. In fact there’s been significant growth in the area of tech-free schools for the rich along with the fact that tech icons like Bill Gates & Steve Jobs both raised their kids without digital devices.
In the past decade, we now see more socializing occurring over the phone and even whole groups of kids standing in a circle looking at their phone. All this and even the negative effects blue-light has on sleep quality, have all received much coverage in the media, but there is a whole other side of the problem that is a side-effect that has led to this proliferation in mental health issues.
It all comes down to feelings.
We are losing the ability to sit and consider our feelings. Despite exercises like meditation gaining popularity, it is not among young people — perhaps because it is boring. Young people want an easy to understand the use for meditation, but what they don’t understand is that it is not merely a tool to clear the mind or help with productivity. Rather, meditation provides a platform to do the uncomfortable, and that is listening to our feelings (instead of ignoring them) and find out what is bothering us.
Much like how we tend to make breakthroughs in our work or get an epiphany in the shower, it’s only by depriving our brains of external stimulation that we finally allow ourselves to be alone with our own thoughts.