As we enter 2017, a lot of people have set new year’s resolutions or goals that they want to accomplish this year. Maybe one of them is to spend less time being distracted by technology? Although there are many reasons to decrease your time spent on a screen, one that aligns with a good self-defense strategy is to increase your situational awareness.
Situational awareness is usually discussed with a color-coded system that indicates the awareness to potential threats. The system was developed by Col. Jeff Cooper.
White: Referred to as a total lack of awareness. It is recommended to only be in this stage when you are asleep.
Yellow: A relaxed state of alertness.
Orange: Identified a potential threat.
Red: The potential threat that was identified is an actual threat.
Technology today makes it easier to end up in condition white. The recommended self-defense strategy is to stay in condition yellow. This means being aware and alert to the world and people around you. The best self-defense situations are the ones that never take place. Being alert and aware of your surroundings allows you to see any threats and, if possible, avoid them.
In a world so well connected, it may not be realistic to stay off technology all day long. Comparing the activity you wish to do with sleeping can help you decide when the appropriate time is to check your notifications. Ask yourself, “If I was to take a brief nap right now, would that be reasonably safe to do?” An activity that needs your full attention, such as driving, would not be the right time to be in condition white.
So put down the smartphone and take in your surroundings. Being alert and aware is the best self-defense strategy a person can have to avoid being in a situation.