So as I searched to find an image of Yogi Bear in a meditation pose to go along with that last bit, I got sidetracked by a vid that popped up on my side-bar. Blasted internet!! After watching it, (yes, I did) I realized that the side trips on the web are tiny moments of present-ness. My brain had switched gears from intense focus on the "work" to be done to creative thought, thinking only of what was before me in that moment. I was completely lost in the visual, unaware of my surroundings. About 90 seconds in, I realized what had happened. (The vid I watched is below.)
Now I am wondering, are the many side trips we take on the internet serving as unforced moments of downtime? They are distractions, to be sure, but is this a bad thing? Of course it is healthy to unplug. But what if these moments, which in my students appear as game-playing and video-watching, are actually our way of temporarily escaping the stress? Must those moments resemble a quiet room with new age music and dim lighting? Can the disengagement from our activities come in some other form - electronically?
I do know much has been researched about what being online is doing to our own wiring, see this article with feedback from teachers, and this one, about negative impacts in adult brains. The jury is still out over here, taking a much-needed break.