Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Curse of Being Overstimulated...

Waiting for the metro, riding an elevator, sitting at a stop light, running on a treadmill...these are all things that we used to (and should be able to) do on their own. We rode an elevator and thought about the days plans, conversed with the person next to us...we ran on the treadmill and focused on the music or the rhythm of our steps...and we waited for the metro while sitting peacefully (or maybe reading a newspaper). Now, we need constant stimulation. The misfortune of my (and probably your) generation is our constant need for stimulation. The constant need to be informed, up-to-date, in contact with others, and seeing and hearing as much entertainment as possible. It is exhausting.

I've noticed this a lot in myself (and I strongly dislike it...but it is quite the hard addiction to break) when I am riding the elevator at work and constantly checking facebook (the most disappointing moment being that there are no new updates since the last time I checked 2 minutes ago...), when I am running on the treadmill and want a good beat in my headphones and an entertaining sitcom with subtitles on the small tv attached to my machine, and when I am sitting at a stop light and even the radio has become too mundane for me and I need to check my email (absolutely unsafe..I know.). This constant need to be stimulated by all sensory organs is exhausting and I do believe that it cannot possibly be good for us. My generation no longer appreciates silence. No longer enjoys sitting and just being....sitting with a cup of coffee and watching the birds chirp outside the window. I believe that our need to be stimulated by so many channels (audio, visual, etc)takes us out of our own...leaves us with little time to think and reflect and keeps us craving even more. I think it is disappointing that many cannot enjoy a good workout without watching tv, reading the newspaper, and listen to music (or even watching a screen that simulates a workout in the outdoors!)...but I guess if the individual wouldn't workout in a normal setting with them and the treadmill, they wouldn't do it period. I guess that the stimulation can modify unappealing situations to be more tolerable. I guess...

So maybe the gym is different...and just because I enjoy exercise in its most basic form, doesn't mean that everyone else will...and I should be happy that these stimulations occur to engage non-exercisers and keep them coming back. But my position still stands on the negative side of stimulation in terms of every day living and what could be considered peacefulness. The need I have to check my phone at every point in the day when I am not speaking with someone else, busy, or doing work is sad. I am trying to work on it. But I have become so accustomed to this lifestyle that I will admit it is hard. The abilty to converse with multiple people in person, over the phone, via text, on email, and through facebook at the same time is absurd...but common.

Now in the time that I have spent writing this blog I have missed a couple of text messages and some facebook I need to check those :)

PS- Take some time out for you. In silence. Just enjoy you and reflect. It's nice, I promise.


PPS- Post blog writing I noticed another necessary stimulation for running (at least for me) need to change the speed, incline, or something! Running on a treadmill is far too mundane for me...and even if I am looking at a magazine, listening to great music, and staring at myself in the mirror...I still need to change something about my workout (speed or hill) every minute or so! Ahh!

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