The fact of the matter is, as a culture in north america, we’re getting more stressed and worked up with every passing decade. The age of technology promised to free us up more time..(well, I never actually talked to the age of technology and confirmed he promised that)..and the opposite has actually occurred.

I can remember not too long ago in my old job sitting in my office and, in the short span of 3 minutes – got a reminder on my PDA’s calendar application to do something, got several emails from committee members asking me to do things, a phone call from my supervisor, and my girlfriend at the time called my cell to remind me to do something.

I think we believe we need our escapes from all this stress, to medicate ourselves, to get away from the harshness of reality. America, using another example, represents 2% of the world’s population, and yet statistics show they represent 80% of the world’s cocaine usage. Children on average are 10 pounds heavier today than they were a decade ago.

There are healthy and unhealthy ways to ‘escape reality’. I do a few of both..

  • Alcohol. Yes, sometimes it’s part of the social experience..however, sometimes people drink too much and for the wrong reasons. I’m guilty of this.
  • Video games. Not much else to say..this can be one of the more isolating escapes I have. However, there are multiplayer and even massively multiplayer games that can keep you socially connected. Usually, popping heads off zombies with a shotgun is not a reality based exercise, however.
  • Working out. This can be done with people, but the focus is on doing something for yourself.
  • Music. Playing drums and cranking the volume, for me, can put me in such a different mental state.
So in close, I’d propose you contemplate a few things. How do I get away from it all when I want to? Do I usually choose to deal with reality head on? Do I choose negative escapes or positive ones? What am I escaping from?
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