Today most people are more comfortable interacting virtually than face-to-face. The previous generations are responsible for churning out a whole generation of people, who feel caged —— IF LEFT ALONE WITH THEIR THOUGHTS. It is because they have replaced QUALITY TIME with fancy gizmos and technology has taken the place of relationships. Addiction to these gizmos, makes people restless even if the Wi-Fi connectivity at their home is down. That leads to anxiety.
Doctor Anu Goel, counselling psychologist says, “Sitting alone with your thoughts, puts you in a mode of reflection and that makes you deal with issues you otherwise don’t want to. Gadgets are used as an ESCAPE MECHANISM. When faced with some problem, instead of going to a counsellor, sit alone with your thoughts, and you will come up with some solution. Because, the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the ONE YOU HAVE WITH YOURSELF.
Social commentator, Santosh Desai, believes life, today, is a series of activities. People are dependent on the world around for stimulation. “Our previous generation didn’t face this problem. They were conditioned to sit alone and make peace with their thoughts. They did not feel the need to ‘manufacture’ stimulation from things around,” he says. What would one do, if left alone in a room for 15mins ——- without a gadget or any other distraction ? A study published recently in Science magazine, revealed that people, left in such a state would even agree to take minor shock treatments to alleviate the anxiousness that arises from being alone. Timothy Wilson, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia, US, asked participants, of all ages, to sit quietly in a room, by themselves, for 15mins ——– without music, phones or books. The result : 67% men and 25% women, found the prospect so terrifying that instead of sitting idle, they chose to get shocked to deal with their solitude. We are so addicted to our work smartphones, random chat with friends on social media and the constant chaos in our hyper-connected worlds, that the thought of sitting idle has become painful. Wilson says, “The untutored mind does not like to be alone with itself.” ——-Shiv Visvanathan, sociologist says, “This generation may believe it is individualistic and profess the love for THEIR OWN SPACE, but, in reality, being alone is people’s greatest fear. They need distractions and constant stimulation, all the time. The cacophony around allows them to escape from introspection and facing the harsher facts of life. This generation has re-interpreted the meaning of loneliness ———it’s not when you aren’t with another person around you ; it’s when you have no gadget to distract your mind.”
Rohini Singh, spiritual coach, author of “The Only Way Out Is Within,” says, “We are always trying to run away from our painful thoughts. We have lost the habit of TURNING INWARDS, because our thoughts make us uncomfortable. We are incapable of thinking without depressing ourselves. Thoughts are just random energies that come and go. They shouldn’t attach their reality to them. Just like you don’t accept all friend requests on Facebook, DON’T ACCEPT ALL YOUR THOUGHTS.”
Researchers say that a culture, which has trained many to enjoy constant stimulation, may have rendered quiet introspection and spending alone-time extinct. Jodi Chapman. inspirational writer, confirms this, “Without the distractions of TV, internet, phones, games, our job, the outside world ——– There is no buffer between us and the questions we try so hard to avoid.” So, if you spend time alone, you get to discover that YOU’RE GOOD COMPANY.