Technology is incredible. It has given us instant access to the rest of the world literally at our fingertips. We can do almost anything from our smart phones now. It makes it easy to multitask and constantly shift our attention from one thing to another with just the swipe of your thumb. And long with this, we’ve become so distracted with layer upon layer of multitasking that our attention is constantly being divided and sub-divided among multiple things.
What this means is that we are currently living in an attention economy, where our attention is the commodity that marketers are competing for. And they’re really good at it.
Where does eating enter the picture?
Consider this: What else are you usually doing while you are eating? How often are you distracted with technology – your phone, computer, tablet, TV? Do you ever just eat, without any other distractions? Whenever I suggest that to people their eyes get really big and they can’t even fathom doing so. “Wouldn’t it be boring?” So sad, because eating doesn’t have to be boring at all.
Eating is one of life’s few activities that can tap into all of our senses. It’s incredible. You can listen to the sound of the food cooking, smell the aromas of the different ingredients, see the beautiful colors and shapes of the food, taste the amazing flavors and feel the interesting textures. And then in your body you feel the sensation of food in your belly, and the satisfaction of nourishing and fueling yourself.
It’s really easy to miss out on all of this though if your brain is focused on other things while you’re eating.
Once you realize that your attention is being commoditized, you can make conscious choices about when and to whom you are going to give it to, and to how many things at once.
It’s well documented that distracted eating sets us up to overeat, because we aren’t paying full attention to our food or what our body is telling us. So you stop eating when the food in front of you is gone. This is also an unsatisfying way to eat, because you didn’t fully taste or experience the food. Sometimes this leads to chasing satisfaction by eating more food, even if you weren’t hungry for it.
Doesn’t it seem worth it to “just” eat every once in a while?
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