I hope you're having a good weekend. Alhamdulillah, I am despite the horrible haze we are currently experiencing due to forest burning in Sumatra, and as some of you might notice I'm no longer wearing braces! :D
It's been roughly a week since I removed my braces and it feels good to smile normally again after 11 months. I'm so used to feeling very self-conscious about my smile that I now have to get used to smiling widely. It's crazy how fast 11 months flew by. In fact, it's crazy how the last one and a half years have passed. We are literally half way through the 2013 and Ramadan will be here in two weeks. May we live long enough to experience it, inshaAllah.
Which led me to some thinking.
What do I want to achieve this Ramadan?
Well, I picked up this book a few days ago because I do feel like my digital life has taken over my real life and I don't like what it's doing to my behaviour, brain and lifestyle.
I've decided that this Ramadan what I really want to do is reclaim my life from distractions. Not all distractions are in digital form but most of them are. In the book The Distraction Trap: How to Focus in a Digital World, Frances Booth explains that the use of digital technology forges new neural pathways in the brain. Unfortunately, this means we are using old pathways less and less unless we do something about it. As the saying goes, "Something's gotta give". When we are consumed by the Internet and our gadgets we are losing things that are valuable in our lives: reading, solitude, memory, sleep, journeying, creativity, listening, learning, relationships.
As someone who was born in the 80's I can remember what life was like before the Internet became a prevalent and almost omnipresent part of my life and I can tell you that I don't feel like I have the same attention span as I did ten years ago. For example, it takes me longer to finish a book because my mind keeps wandering and wondering about what's going on in the digital world. I also see less of my friends because we "keep in touch" with our smartphones now which makes "I'm busy with work" an acceptable excuse. The truth is we don't see each other because we are very disconnected from each other's lives, thanks to superficial forms of communication.
And the irony is I'm telling you this through my blog which is on the Internet and I most likely don't even know who you are. Even if we do know each other offline, can we really say we've truly communicated? I guess what I want to reclaim is the person I used to be and the life I used to lead before the Internet hijacked my life. I want to have quality relationships, especially with my family and relatives. I want to see my friends and read their facial expressions and body language. I want to know people's hearts instead of their Facebook statuses.
Am I the only one who wants these things? I don't think so, judging by how many people are dumping their Facebook accounts these days. I think I might be joining the bandwagon soon.