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Digital Distraction Against Feelings

by - 25 May

Stephen Grosz has been a psychoanalyst for the past 30 years and spent more than 60,000 hours with patients spanning children, adolescents, adults and the elderly. In his book The Examined Life Grosz draws short, vivid stories from his 30-year practice in order to track the collaborative journey of therapist and patient as they uncover the hidden feelings behind ordinary behaviour.
I talked to him about our vulnerability in the digital age.

Are we more fragile today – in the digital age?
Wherever you are in the world - here in Bulgaria or in the world, you see people always on their phone. They are so distracted. To be alone for a minute with oneself, not to do anything, to sit or to be with one's children, or one's partner, not looking and not getting on the phone, and not taking the phone call, is so unusual now.
It does seem to me that sometimes we use distraction as a defense against feelings. What would happen if we push out our phone off? We might be sad, we might have memories, we might miss someone that we would not otherwise think, we might be more present with those people who are there, that we love. So in a way you're right: fragile is a very interesting word. It's almost like we can't do that. So rather than have those feelings we will distract ourselves with phones.

More on why all change involves pain here, on why change is so difficult here, on the "tyranny of should" here 

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