Diffusing tension immediately

The draw of devices and social media is that they help us diffuse tension immediately.

Feeling bad about something? Post somewhere to say you are and divert your attention to getting responses.
Feeling angry? Go on a rant somewhere on the internet.
Had an uncomfortable exchange? Delete the email or “fire” a reply.
Had a real world exchange that is stressing you out? Just check your phone and direct your attention elsewhere.

None of these solve the problem though. The immediate action and release might make us feel better for a little while. But, real problems are not solved by diffusing tension. They are solved by staying with the tension, accepting it and then figuring out a way forward that will actually attack the source of the tension.

Tension doesn’t need to be accompanied with feelings of worry and distress. But, it needs to feel just a bit frustrating as it will then requires us to move to a plane different from the one in which we created or experienced the problem. And, we won’t get there by checking our phone.

Fast isn’t always better. Better is better.

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5 thoughts on “Diffusing tension immediately

  1. I’m reading this one late, Rohan, but thought you’d appreciate this link. It fist-bumps your notion of the importance of moving to a different plane. Years ago I worked with folks struggling with alcohol and drug addiction and we’d forever be talking about the “quick fix” (i.e. the drink or the drug) vs. the willingness to “feel the feelings to move beyond them.” I watch myself with my devices and now have a deeper understanding of that struggle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HbYScltf1c

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