(a)nderstatements

A handy cage

Pia Clodi

Morning observations. The feeling that turning my phone on is like letting a whole lot of world into my life - a wave of world.

It doesn’t matter whether it is reading something, answering a message, posting an image. There is always something that demands attention and if I am not quick in my assumption about it, I get dragged away into the task. And I get dragged away. Time and time again, because the only assumption that would actually help, would be to leave the phone turned off. All of a sudden Kafka’s quote “A bird went looking for a cage” comes to my mind and I wonder, is the irony just wishful thinking? 

It’s too easy to blame curiosity.

The truth is that we are already stringed to this virtual world much more than we are able to admit. We are addicted to the demands for our attention, the likes, the being needed and being seen. It simply feels so darn good. Why? It excites us thanks to dopamin, the chemical that is released in our body, when we anticipate something positive to happen - not at all unlike the relief of stress by drinking or smoking. And it’s a very handy cage too, we can have it and bring it everywhere. 

So why wait? Why not turn it on and get a kick of instant gratification if you can have it, all the time, everywhere?

In an interview with Simon Sinek, who’s book & TED talk “Start with Why” led to an important personal epiphany a few years ago, Sinek ponders in his infectious and energetic manner about Millennial's inability to develop two things that don’t come in an instant: Trust & workplace satisfaction. Both of these demand the one factor, that we cannot instantaneously order or skip by. They demand time. Repetition. Practice. They come because you are hanging in, you are developing your grit and this is right on the other side of the instant gratification spectrum. 

We need to learn to deal with all these new technologies and possibilities. We need to find out about our human quality and how to make our human experience a good one, for us, but also for this lovely planet we are lucky enough to inhabit. There is so much to enjoy and experience, there is so much to learn still. Yet I’ve never heard of a bird who learned how to fly in a cage. There’s just not enough space for practicing.  

Image by the talented film photographer André Teixeira of Branco Prata

Image by the talented film photographer André Teixeira of Branco Prata