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Cell Phones are Anti-Meditation - How to Just Say No

Cell phones dominate modern society to such an extent that lives are made less full, interpersonal face-to-face communications are made awkward, and children have to be told to go outside and play―but there is a way to change all that.
WellnessKeen Staff
Perhaps, one of the pervading images of modern culture is a teenager on a cell phone, thumbs blazing as he or she uses the slide out or virtual keyboard on the 'device' to type some inane, semi-literate message to a friend, who awaits anxiously on the other side of the connection to reply with equally nimble thumbs and with an equally poorly-written messages. That such communications are inane and a complete waste of time is bad enough.
But, with so much emphasis spent on video games, television, and non-face-to-face communications, is it any wonder that interpersonal relations are eroding? Is it a surprise that the National Football League now sponsors a 'Play 60' campaign designed to get children outside and playing for at least 60 minutes each day, even though just 30 years ago parents would be hard-pressed to drag their children inside for that long? While the modern individual can always be connected with 'the world'―in a manner of speaking―he is at the same time very much less connected with the individuals around himself. By extension, he is much less connected to himself. And that is a problem.
Modern cell phone use is, essentially, anti-meditative. Sure, one could argue that those using a cell phone to browse the web, chat with friends, email or talk, are intensely focused. The reality is that they are simply lost in a sea of mostly meaningless conversation or information overload. The real tragedy is that, just the ten or fifteen minutes required each day to take some time out to meditate is often filled with such 'connectivity', and to suggest otherwise would have one met with a look of bewilderment or even scorn.
Such is our relationship with our mobile devices in the modern-day. For those who have fallen into the trap and don't know exactly how to break the cell phone habit to move into meditation, here are some tips.
Turn it Off
Turn the cell phone off for 15 minutes each day. During that time, find a place in your house, outside or anywhere, that you feel comfortable, and meditate. Free your mind from all distractions, all thoughts from the busy day, and most importantly, from your cell phone. You can turn the phone back on when you're finished, but the 15 minutes it takes to truly reach a meditative state will end up being an enjoyable part of your day. If you must leave your phone on because you're on-call or in case of emergencies, do so. But tell everyone you know that your 15 minutes each day is sacred, and they should only contact you during that time each day in case of an emergency.
Specific Usage Times
If you really want to limit cell phone use to improve the quality of your life―let's face it, if you have a cell phone addiction, you DO NOT have a good quality of life―turn it on at a certain point in the morning and off at a certain point each night. If you have to leave it on for emergencies, then simply see who is calling or texting, but don't respond until the next day. It may seem odd at first, especially for those accustomed to wasting hours of their lives each day on the phone, but you would be amazed at what you can accomplish and how much enjoyment you can derive without your cell phone attached to your thumbs.
Assess What You're Doing
Stop and think. How much of your cell phone use is for a specific, legitimate purpose, and how much is just for the sake of killing time or the result of a cell phone addiction? How many of the words sent via text or email actually serve some purpose? If you're like the majority of Americans, most of what you type into Twitter, email, or text is entirely useless. Eliminate all non-useful messages on your phone, and compare how much time you're spending on it versus how much time you were spending on it before the change. You would be amazed at how much better your life can be, if you don't waste most of it.