More Mindfulness, Less Media

Child Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures
Public domain stock photo: A toddler sits outside, wearing a hat, and carrying a basket with an orange kitten.

Last month, I had one of the most delightful opportunities: I spent ten days with a toddler who I love very much. She became a great teacher to me. I spent the Christmas holiday with her also-very-loved family, and it was a joyful respite for my mind and body as we all finished the year.

Toddlers have one primary mode — they are living in the present. They are constantly exploring, noticing, playing, learning, and feeling in the now. They are not projecting anxieties upon the future, nor are they are not fixated on the pains of the past. They are in the moment, constantly taking in everything. I loved noticing this Noticer and watching her live this way.

And I thought, “I want that mindfulness.”

During the same trip, I gave myself another gift. For small periods of time, I checked social media twice a day. I think I’m going to keep this up for a while. It was so good give this compulsion over to a fixed, more intentional rhythm. The algorithms helped me too because they prioritized the most significant posts for me to see. Suddenly, I looked forward to checking because it felt connectional, and it was no longer something I was doing mindlessly.

And I thought, “I want less media.”

More mindfulness, less media. Or to say it another way, I want more presence in my living.

There are so many painful experiences and dynamics in our world. I want to be informed without being immersed. Our feelings are always valid, including those of trauma and pain. Alongside this, I realize that no one is helped particularly by us swimming in the bad news. I want to know about it, and I want to care about it. But it helps no one when we are utterly immersed in it, just feeling it, rather than acting upon it (again, more presence in the living).

More mindfulness, less media. This is going to be a major part of 2022.

Renee Roederer

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