The real reason you turn to your smartphone (DW#905)
Apr 09, 2021
Yesterday we spoke about the external triggers in our environment that cause us to lose focus.
Today let us discuss internal triggers.
Eyal begins by asking a very important question: "What motivates us, really?". What prompts us to do anything?
He answers his own question by citing Epicurus: "By pleasure, we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul."
"Simply put", Eyal explains, "the drive to relieve discomfort is the root cause of all of our behavior, while everything else is a proximate cause."
Root causes vs. Proximate causes. The smartphone? Television? Video games? Chocolate? Excessive shopping?
Those are not the ROOT cause of your distraction. They’re simply the PROXIMATE causes.
The root cause, he says, is our inability to deal with emotional discomfort in our lives.
Just reflect on this for a moment. Just before you reach for the phone, the chocolate or the TV remote, what are you feeling inside? Is there a tiny bit of discomfort or distress? An uncomfortable feeling? Something that you don’t want to face? So much easier to reach for that remote than to feel this feeling, isn’t it?
"Unless we deal with the root causes of our distraction, we’ll continue to find ways to distract ourselves. Distraction, it turns out, isn’t about distraction itself; rather, it’s about how we respond to it."
I will leave you with that bit of profundity to reflect on over the weekend ;)
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