Meadowridge Voices Blog


A silenced buzz

Your phone is calling (for your attention)

There's a silenced buzz. A notification. Your phone is calling for your attention. It's taunting you, teasing you away from whatever you were doing. Was it dinner with the family? Or were you out with friends? Perhaps it was while you were on your way to school or work? Maybe it was while you were reading a book, or going for a run, playing with your kids, or drinking your morning coffee. It doesn't really matter what you were doing, because once that magical device calls for your attention, it has it. Like a lion hunting its prey, it's accounted for your strengths, plotted for your weaknesses, and planned its attack. That elegant, and seemingly innocent, piece of technology in your pocket will eat you alive.

Literally, my phone with its gentle dings, melodic vibrations, and sweet buzzes can't eat me alive, but figuratively, I fear that it might. My attention is increasingly being drawn to my phone. Messages, games, endless feeds of photos, videos, news, and nothings. My brain loves the red badges and pop up messages, my ego craves the likes, comments, and followers, and my heart wants to know what everyone else in the world is doing. I keep going until my mind tires, my ego is bruised, and my heart hurts, or my real-life calls.

It doesn't really matter what you were doing, because once that magical device calls for your attention, it has it. Like a lion hunting its prey, it's accounted for your strengths, plotted for your weaknesses, and planned its attack. That elegant, and seemingly innocent, piece of technology in your pocket will eat you alive.

As an adult, I find it difficult to pull myself away from the temptation and promise of fulfillment my phone offers me. Whether it's an important email, or a very unimpressive video, my personalized little-screen-world is familiar and comforting. Imagine what it's like for our children and our youth. If grown-ups struggle to find balance with these technologies, how can we expect kids to know when too much, is too much? If we don't understand the science behind these little pleasure producing devices, how can we educate others? The increasingly persuasive technologies that are built around the way we use our phones, capture our attention and work hard to keep us glued. By gamifying our actions, monetizing our connections, rewarding our vanity, and filtering our information our digital worlds are becoming more personalized and pleasing..

Whether it's an important email, or a very unimpressive video, my personalized little-screen-world is familiar and comforting. Imagine what it's like for our children and our youth.

So... it's time to start breaking down those digital walls. It's time to ask questions, build understandings and have real life conversations. We need to pull ourselves out of our cozy digital nests and get uncomfortable. We need to look at the cost of being connected and we have to work to find balance in today's digitally rich world.

Ms. Adi Aharon, Coordinator of Technology in Education


Have you found yourself lost in a bottomless pit of social media?
Are you concerned about the amount of time your children are spending online?

Join us on September 20th at 8:30am when we'll begin to peel away the layers of our digital lives and open the conversation about our digital well-being. We'll explore ideas about the irresistible nature of our digital devices and the roll they play on our mental health, our attention, our relationships, and the way we see the world.

We want to know: what concerns do you have about digital well-being?

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About Meadowridge

Learning to live well, with others and for others, in a just community.

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12

International Baccalaureate Continuum World School, PYP, MYP, DP

Located in the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada on 27 acres in Maple Ridge

Challenging academic, inquiry-based curriculum, arts, athletics, experiential education

Founded in 1985 with an original enrolment of 85 students