Tuesday 27 March 2012


Have you noticed more and more that many people are seemingly living in a parallel world of their own, they just seem not be "with it" or aware of their immediate surroundings. Sometimes there are genuine reasons for this such as the personal stereo players that automatically reduce ones ability to be fully knowledgeable of their immediate presence, it even stops people walking in straight lines if you notice such. Ones guidance systems are reduced and the listener tends to wander around more randomly than the average person who is not hooked up to piped distractions. The mobile phone is another where people either stop dead or just lose their ability to comprehend others around them and thus become objects in a crowd where their senses and reactions are almost all linked to the calls they are making or receiving. It's even worse when people are taking calls in their car as their ability to function using indicators or even gears if manually geared are substantially reduced as is their situational understanding in relation to other cars, pedestrians and the environment too.

Many people develop the "glance syndrome" whereby they perpetually keep looking at their mobile phone to see if they have received a text or a missed call or some news update. This also substantially reduces ones ability to concentrate and thus impedes both work and personal thought, it can in some situations regarding work reduce the high level of concentration that one needs to adequately fulfil what is required of them.  Years ago people were restricted in using company phones, after all your time is paid for for your work and with the exception of the odd call for dentist / doctor that was it. Today the mobile phone can be intrusive and for some they get withdrawal symptoms so used are they to being welded to their phone for fear of missing out on events that never happen. (Just in case syndrome). It's not even uncommon today for the very young especially to text their friends with messages even if they are sat next to each other. There is nothing wrong with this as such until the phone is withdrawn then they feel stressed that their level of conversational activity is reduced, it isn't but it's a feeling that overcomes them.

There is of course another vacant form (one of many) but a common form of seeing people around you looking dazed and in fact being vacant, withdrawn into themselves, not quite 'out of it' yet verging on the edge of not quite being fully conversant with life and living on the periphery so as not to fully entering into it. It's a world of grossly cultivated self thought, almost like an "old record" that's stuck in a groove and perpetually going around and around. Many people especially the single and over thirty live perpetually in this world as they find life isn't from their perspective what it should be and thus hypothesise and concoct a life within. For others they actually get used to "flipping in" and "flipping out" of this world, some with great ease that one moment they are conversing on a mutual topic next moment they are in their own little world of endless conjecture that constantly swirls around, and at times goes to war with itself. It can be both comforting and unsettling at the same time, but one thing is for sure it's not conducive to a happy life ahead.

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© John Rushton / The Life Doctor 2012

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