OK, I’m putting this out there. Have you ever visited the Twilight Zone? I have and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
I have the best neighbors on the planet. They are some of my closest friends and they are always there for me. I could tell you a thousand reasons why they are so great, but that’s another story. Let me put it to you this way, they are the let-me-watch-your-kids-overnight-and-have-gourmet-breakfast-waiting-for-you-when-you-pick-them-up kind of amazing.
One of the reasons I love them so much is because they are so honest. They tell me like it is. They are up front with me and we are comfortable enough with each other that we can be real. They are like family to me.
They are the reason I consciously know about my Twilight Zone. One night, they pointed out to me that I was in what they coined, the “Twilight Zone.” I take no credit for this label and it is absolutely perfect to describe this state of being. Does this sound familiar?
I believe that Twilight Zone happens when we have so many things going on at the same time, when we are trying to process so much in our brains that it just automatically shuts down. We are slower to respond, we aren’t paying attention when someone is directly talking to us, we are off in another world just trying to get through everything going on in our heads.
All of our cell phones, social media, work schedules, kids schedules, just our lives in general make it easy for our brains to go into overload. I think the Twilight Zone is our body’s way of handling all this “stuff.” I’ve read studies that show multi-tasking is just simply not that effective. I’ve also read about digital stress and its effects on our brains. Think about the message you are sending others when you enter this state of not really being in-the-moment. Trust me, people notice. They may not ever tell you, but they notice. I’m just thankful that I have people who are honest enough to point it out to me. (And, I haven’t even mentioned the issues of safety and not paying attention, which burns me up and I will write about later.)
Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. However, I do think there are limits. I think there are times when you have to catch yourself and apply some discipline.
I think making a solid effort of being present in our daily lives, whether it be spending time with our families, working on an important project for work, or quite simply just taking care of ourselves, we can avoid slipping into the Twilight Zone. Until then, I hope that you have someone who will point it out and help you snap out of it. Trust me, it is not a place you want to be in long.
Bottom line: Be present. That is the only antidote to the Twilight Zone.