The world demands busyness and frenetic energy of us. Social media demands constant “engagement” from us, although most of us are not truly engaged with each other.
It has recently been reported that people check their cell phones about 150 times a day. Let us look at this figure a little more closely. We make the assumption that people sleep. Even the most well-connected must turn off sometime during the day. That leaves us with checking ur status, or someone else’s status update 6, 10, 12 times an hour. And, the sad underbelly of these kinds of numbers is that we are not truly connected.
We bring a great deal of noise and chatter to our environments. But, why? If you look at yesterday’s post, some of it is out of loneliness. Not much happening in our real world, or not much going on to our liking, or insufficiently stimulating, so we wander in and out of the lives of other trying to fill avoid we do not understand.
The “Issues” with Silence and Solitude
Why do we keep up noise and chatter? I think that part of the answer lies in that fact that most people do not know how to be alone, to sit in silence with themselves, or to easily amuse themselves. It makes most of us feel uncomfortable. And, I know from experience that it can make others feel uneasy, as well.
The silence seems too oppressive when compared to the din of the television, movie streaming and satellite radio. And add to this the constant reading (actually skimming) and looking for an angle to comment on everything and anything, so that we will be noticed. The silence feels awkward when the very things we do not really want to think about and/ or address come calling. In the deafening silence there is only us and our thoughts.
Silence Can Be Beneficial
Silence can help bring us back to some balance to our existence, precarious and short-lived though it might be.
The silence helps us begin to tune a more discerning ear and make conscious decisions about what we wish to spend our precious time listening to.
The silence helps us filter out what the world says we should think, say and believe, and gives us space and permission to weigh those things against what we actually believe in our hearts and spirits, and why we believe them.
Silence and solitude help us find our way through a confusing world of other people’s drama, pain, emotions and responses.
Silence helps us slow all that anxiety-producing busyness down and reconnect with ourselves.
Spending some quality time alone is an activity that most of us do not know how to do well. We all need a little time alone every now and then to see and know what we are made of, to know and to do what we really like and to actually like, and even learn to love ourselves.