Are we living hyperconnected? Who decides how we spend our time?

What’s app and Instagram went down and I slept an extra hour. Yes, it’s that simple and that therapeutic. Whenever our routine is disrupted, the first thing we think of is the harm it causes. For hours we couldn’t text each other, we had to phone more than we had in a month and this generated certain moments of anger in us. We experienced the classic “want to and can’t”.

But if you think about it, that failure brought us peace. No one could disturb us during those 6 hours, we could focus on what we were doing without any interruption, and even, as I say, I went to bed earlier, after reading a couple of chapters of a book “The science of common sense”, which allowed me to relax and sleep peacefully.

The reflection is clear and, above all, worrying: how much control have these kinds of applications acquired over our lives? Is it possible that they dominate even our minutes and hours of rest? Are we less free with a smartphone? I would not like to be dramatic, because I myself see the advantages of rapid communication, I witness the incredible relationships that the Internet and Instagram have made possible and I realise the potential that these social networks have as a loudspeaker to launch positive messages and counteract the less good ones.

But the truth is that it all comes down to the same conclusion, the good and the bad of the Internet, its advantages and disadvantages are the result of the use we make of it. It is up to us to decide how we use it and for what purpose. We cannot hand over control of our lives to these technological giants. We cannot be so dependent on how they work. We need to be more aware of what we spend our time on and whether that is what we really want to spend it on.

Because that way, we will win back control and we will decide, not they. That way, we will be the ones who make the decisions and act accordingly, with the responsibility that this entails. And this reflection, as a result of what we experienced this week, reminds me that we simply have to apply common sense, that the science behind it is increasingly forgotten. Paloma Cantero has compiled a very interesting book about this subject. In it, she explains that happiness requires two irreplaceable components: the right attitude and the right decision making. Although this is not always linked to a purely pleasurable sensation.

The attitude is adopted by us, i.e. we choose how to face the world and the things that happen to us, either with a positive or a negative attitude. And when it comes to making a decision, Cantero proposes 4 golden rules: be well informed, decide with full will, analyse the expected results and be flexible to accept and manage the real results, which are not always what we expected.

And I would like to highlight one of the sentences in the book that I liked the most: “A happy life is not only defined by the destination we reach, but by the “style” with which we walk”.  You choose that style, make it your own, make it reflect who you are, not what the social networks, the Internet or the digital sphere expects you to be.

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