Too Distracted to Feel: Do You Suffer from the Cyber Addict Blues?

By Kevin Burke, LSW

The zombies roam with heads glued to their screens / Avoiding eye contact so they’re never seen / Their brains are fried at the end of the road / This cyber-crack that we all smoke / The world is shrinking and our souls are too / We’re all victims of the cyber addict blues -“Cyber Addict Blues

CNN reports that fifty percent of teens and twenty-seven percent of parents feel they are addicted to their mobile devices.

The nature of many modern jobs means that cell phones and ipads keep workers perpetually connected and accessible to their employers and clients. The 24/7 demands of some jobs leave little time to disconnect, to be emotionally present to loved ones, and refresh the soul.

From CNN:

GG Benitez, a mother of three, said that as the founder and chief executive officer of her own public relations firm, she feels the pressure to always be available due to the fear of losing any potential press opportunities for her clients:

 “I had taken my son to a movie, and he turned around to me and said, ‘Are you serious, Mom? We are at the movies and you are still on your phone?…”

Some of the latest research also suggests this immersion in the virtual world of social media, emails and texting may also be a way people can self-medicate anxiety, depression and other painful feelings:

Holland Haiis, who wrote Digital Detox Program, shares:

“The dopamine in our brains is stimulated by the unpredictability that social media, emails and texting provide…”

Staying Numb and Distracted from Complicated Grief and Loss

We have learned from our over 20 years in ministry around the world in Rachel’s Vineyard that abortion is often a deeply repressed area of pain and complex grief.  People expend a lot of psychic energy to keep the memories and feelings buried, but over time this exacts a high cost.

Perhaps this constant immersion in our devices is working hand in hand with this denial.   In a perpetual state of distraction, we struggle to recognize an area of hurt or loss, like abortion, that is crying out for reconciliation and healing.

Experts suggest setting strong boundaries around the use of technology and replacing the dopamine rush of social media with a walk, jog or bike ride.  Taking time for meditation, contemplation and prayer will help free our minds, souls and bodies from an unhealthy attachment to virtual reality.

Follow His Example

You may be thinking, “Yeah sure that would be nice but I am way too busy, and I just can’t find the time.”

Consider the example of a man who was in constant demand by multitudes of his fellow countrymen for his remarkable gifts of healing, deliverance and preaching:

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)

And Jesus also respected when he needed to give himself some space to grieve a painful loss:

When Jesus heard [that John the Baptist had been beheaded], he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. (Matthew 14:13)

Is there a need for more light and fresh air to flow into your life and less time spent immersed in the virtual world of social media and technology?

After you read and share this article, and watch my video 🙂  – follow His example.

[Cyber Addict Blues – Song and Music Video By Kevin Burke and Henry Gennaria]

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