We are driven to keep up with an ungodly pace as we become more and more enmeshed in technology.
If not careful, it can suck us up and spit us out very quickly. We have become slaves to technology in ways that are extremely unhealthy.
Perhaps the greatest conundrum will be to figure out how to use technology without becoming engulfed or controlled by it. Our time is not spent more efficiently these days, but rather learning how to keep up with more and more information.
It reminds me of how hard it was to resist putting my kids in after school activities every day of the week just because everyone else was doing it. It played into the collective fear that if we don’t engage our children in extra curriculars, then they won’t have a leg up on the competition. If everyone else is doing it, it is much harder to go against the tide.
We must use our best judgement when it comes to trends, the collective ways of life, and FOMO (fear of missing out).
“Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t make it right”, I have always told my kids. They were practically the last to get a cellphone in their class.
I now start with the premise that if it’s group think…question it. Let’s do the research. Most of all, let’s feel into our conscience to see if it’s right.
Start with the email treadmill.
I find this situation ridiculous and practically unbearable. I cannot spend an hour or more a day answering emails. There is a steady stream of spam to weed through and delete. There are business emails and personal emails. If I don’t answer them immediately, they disappear into the great email abyss as more come pouring forth. I have now unsubscribed to most lists and keep only the ones I really read.
Having the phone tethered to me is also a problem unless I decide not to answer it. I am not obliged to be available 24/7. I often leave the phone at home when I go on errands.
Social media is something I can resist and control. When I find myself having idle time like waiting in line, stopping at a stop light, riding a bus, or transitioning to another activity…I do not pick up my phone. At first, I had to resist the urge. Now I have no urge for this. Instead, I breathe consciously, paying close attention to the pause between breaths. I bring myself to a quiet stillness, even in the grocery store line. I also use that time to notice my surroundings, the energies of other people, and the feel of my environment.
If I am absorbed in a phone, I miss the world around me and my relationship to it.
I use social media for the Awareness School, so I have scheduled social media time, where I plan posts and respond to other people’s posts. When that designated time period is up, I put my phone down. I use this time to communicate in my private programs as well. Keeping up with three groups takes time and creativity.
One of the curses of technology is the influence it has on our perception of connection. In one way, we are happy to see the movements of our family and friends. It gives us a sense of who they are and what they are doing. Unfortunately, the whole presentation of ourselves is just that a presentation. It isn’t intimate or connective, but a show to the public. When we see these things, we are fed a filtered picture of that person. We also tend to reach out less because we are getting a steady stream of the show. We feel we are connected by seeing what they are doing. Sometimes there is an exchange, but it is usually by text which also lacks personal connection.
Texting is a problem unto itself. It is short quips that are often sent impulsively and usually contain things you would not usually say to someone’s face. We can study the text and calculate what to say. This is back and forth communication of limited dimension. We do not hear tone of voice and all that that carries with it. I refrain from discussing anything of importance over text.
The beauty and benefits of technology must be harnessed as a vehicle for freedom of speech, uniting people for higher values, and global connection. We can compare notes from country to country. We can have meetings with people from all over the world. Our planet becomes a lot smaller so we can tackle issues that we all have in common. We can be inspired and we can be creative. We have outreach and visibility that has never occurred on such a scale. That is a platform that is ripe with possibility.
The sign of a free society is the free flow of information. Can technology evolve into life affirming power? It is all dependent on the users and their ability to discriminate. The danger is that technology becomes a tool for the power mongers of the world who will manipulate the people. We can start with how we use this technology individually.
We must also fight to keep net neutrality.
The further we go into our minds and remain disconnected from our hearts, the more susceptible we are to mind control. We lose the ability to discriminate, rather we miss the opportunity to learn to discriminate.
Let’s start by how we individually exercise restraint over our device addiction.
Let me know how you are working with resisting the technology addiction.
Have a great week.