How can “Absent Time” be a good thing?
What is the issue with checking your cellphone when you sit down at the Doctors office and wait for your name to be called, rather than starring at the people around you and waiting quietly? The answer is nothing, there is no problem at all and on a better note you are killing any ‘Absent Time’ and replacing it with something useful. Or perhaps… it is a problem. The moment we are in an absent moment, it’s a critical time for certain areas in our brain, such as, the pre-frontal cortex. This area is where we create our imagination, creativity and decision making.
We have reached a new era, an era, in which we don’t allow ourselves to be in “Absent Time” at all. If you are in doubt about this theory, ask yourself these few questions: You are sitting at a coffee shop with a friend, and he excuses himself to use the washroom, would you reach for your phone and have a glimpse before he returns? You are waiting for the elevator to arrive, you pushed the button and you see that it is descending from the 24th floor; do you reach for your cellphone until it arrives? Last one, you open your computer to check your emails and your computer is having one of those days where the page is loading rather slowly, do you reach to check your phone in this time? If you answered yes to all of the questions above, you already understand what I am about to say. If you said no, congratulations! But remember that technology will find a way engrave itself on your body in the near future.
Up until I found research explaining the high function of ‘Absent Time’, I was sure that using this time to fulfil tasks we may not have completed during the day, was being efficient. What can we take from this? First, understand that this is not all research, you know the answer already. By constantly being on our phones or computers we are not allowing the brain the time to relax that it needs to make healthy, creative decisions. It is important for me that you all understand this without knowing all the scientific proof behind it, but rather from tapping into your own lives to see how it’s relevant. The “Absent” is not something we need to create just before decision making or a need for a creative idea, rather something we need to create during our day in order to enhance our brain function.
Before I go, I want to give you one more tip in order to succeed in creating ‘Absent Time’. Turn off some of your notifications. Why? Sometimes absence is being created when you don’t expect it to or delegate specific time for it, such as waiting for your appointment at the doctor. We can be in Absent Time waiting for the elevator to come, but then your phone rings and you are instantly snapped out of the absence without even noticing.
Take back the control and function of your frontal cortex before technology takes over completely.