intentional living, Poetry

Thoughts About Living “Unplugged”

A funny thing happened today

As I sat out in town,

With my eyes undistracted.

I was surrounded by humans

And yet all of them seemed 

Lost in a trance of hypnosis.

They were all looking down

All scrolling their thumbs

All silent, fixated on screens.

I sat undetected. 

I sat undisturbed. 

I sat mulling and thinking.

It wasn’t long ago 

That I would have been

Nursing my own nerves like these others.

As I sat and observed,

I met eyes with another

Whose years were much greater than mine. 

As he passed by, he smiled and asked,

“How are YOU today?”

Which prompted a brief conversation.

The we parted ways, 

He left with a smile,

And it stirred in my heart many questions:

How many times 

Must I have missed 

Sweet conversation with others like this?

How many times had I been the one

That choose to surrender 

My eyes to a glowing screen?

Had I really allowed 

The gift of my mind

To be at the mercy of notifications?

For so long, 

I had willingly sacrificed

My soul on a digital altar.

Year after year

I never saw

My digital life as a problem. 

Long was the list of 

Reasons I justified 

My time spent “connected” online.

Countless hours spent curating photos.

Creating content.

And checking apps with addictive consistency.

And then.

One day,

I had enough. 

The decision to walk away

Wasn’t made in 

One frivolous over-reaction.

It had been a long time coming

And the pain of grief gave me the

Confidence to pull the plug.

Living “unplugged”

Felt disjointed at first,

Like I was missing out on something important.

But the longer I spent

With my eyes both wide open,

The more I felt alive. 

My opinions became my own again.

To be made and unmade

As I chose. 

When I talked with others

Whose thoughts differed from mine

Compassion became my new norm.

Time itself seemed to slow it’s pace. 

Each moment to be fully absorbed,

If I chose to digest it.

And here I met the fork in the road: 

Continue on this path against the current

Or return to my old life of noise.

Truthfully, there were moments when 

The noise felt like 

A more enjoyable alternative. 

In the moments when I was 

Met by the torments

Of grief.

In the hours when I was 

Forced to face

The darkness of my own reflection.

These were the moments 

When the thought of those apps

Seemed most appealing.

Living life half-awake

Stings far less than

Living life fully-present. 

But, stuffing my soul down with 

Trifle distractions

Leads to the ultimate crippling of my soul.

So, I burned the ships.

I severed the ties. 

I walked away.

The pain of missing out on memes and political rants

Pales in comparison to

The remorse of a life lived through screens.

If you are one of the golden few

That have the self discipline to utilize 

Only that which is beneficial online–I applaud you.

To the rest of the population, 

I urge you to take a moment to reflect

And weigh the cost.

Our souls are not as unscathed as we assume.

We overestimate the strength of our own minds. 

And time is not an infinite commodity. 

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