ETERNALLY CONNECTED: HOW TECHNOLOGY DISCONNECTS YOU FROM YOURSELF

I’m good at Multi-tasking“, has become a modern euphemism for “Delusions have made my carelessness measurable.

Last year I made the hard decision of purchasing my first smart phone. The Pros ended up out-weighting the Cons, like having something better to read while seated on the toilet other than shampoo bottle instructions. But deep down, I knew I was giving up something invaluable the moment I bought it; my space for tranquility and depth of thought in solitude.

In the 1980’s, futurist Alvin Toffler coined the term “Information Overload” in his book Future Shock predicting where technology was heading in our society. According to a San Diego University study, the average American citizen today is bombarded with 100,500 words and digests around 12 hours of information and media every single day.

And if you think about it, 12 hours isn’t so much of an exaggeration. With notifications, emails, texts, voicemails, “likes”, instagram pictures and tweets, comments, tags and posts, as well as,  photos, videos, headlines, blogs,  subscriptions, downloads, uploads,ads, ringtones, mp3’s, apps, games, usernames, passwords, captchas, folders, files, feeds, searches and poke’s … it’s hardly surprising why we’re always so busy.

SATURATE MY SENSES

We live in an extrospective society, one that thinks happiness is found in the outside world.  We tend to believe wholeheartedly that the more we cram every living moment with outside sources of enjoyment, excitement and pleasure, the more we we’re living.

Life is often thought in outward terms, as a series of events that unfolds in the physical world that we all inhabit.  However, we experience all these events that happen in life inwardly through our thoughts and feelings.  This is the reality for each of us.

We are the surround-sound generation with 1,000 channels.  We want to feel everything all the time.  A walk through the park isn’t just a walk anymore, it’s a music concerto with our ipod, while feasting on a burger, and a work-out as well, with our electronic heart-monitors, all while admiring the passing carnival of humanity.

Creativity and thought has become subservient to the singular ambition of saturating our senses.  Stimulation has become the new world order.  Depth of focus is obsolete.

IT’S NOT THE QUANTITY, BUT THE DEPTH

The irony of our times is that we have more “friends” and know more about their activities and interests than ever … by spending less time with them.

We are also more than ever proficient through technology.  But we achieve much more by superficially immersing ourselves in every activity we do, by dividing our attention and focus.  Take me as an example.  During the writing of this article I’ve digressed in checking my emails, watching 5 videos, buying a book and learning that Google is planning to set up a free global WiFi network!

When I go out on walks I don’t feel that peacefulness and thrill of solitude anymore.  I come across a beautiful bird and immediately I feel like “possessing” that moment for later.  I pull out my phone to take a photo, and begin to feel the anxiety that any sudden movements might frighten it away.  I give up the chance of being entirely and absorbingly present in that moment, in exchange for the anxiety of admiring a photo of it in the future.

I continue my walk and feel my phone vibrating.  It’s a notification that either someone has recommended a movie to me, or I received a comment or “like” online, I have an overdue bill, someone just had a baby, a tsunami just killed hundreds in South Asia, or my uncle is getting a Colonoscopy.  Perhaps you have realized this before, but all of these distractions are impediments to the ability to immerse ourselves in each place we find ourselves in.

But worst of all, technology takes away from us the one thing we require the most for depth of thought and creativity: aloneness.  I’ve felt so many times as though I’m taking the whole world with me when I carry my phone.  There’s never any time or space away from our daily business anymore.

RESPITE FROM TECHNOLOGY

The other day I saw a man talking in a public phone booth. It is such a rare thing that all I could assume was that he was being told where to drop off the ransom money.

We keep upgrading software and finding faster ways to download.  Unknowingly, as we increase the intensity of our ties to other people we are cementing the bars to our own technological prisons.  The more connected we are, the more we depend on the world outside ourselves to tell us how to think and live.

The more we depend on technology and live our lives absorbed in it’s brightly alluring screens, the more fearful we become as well.  Just think of all the hundreds of stories of murders, suicides, rapes, mass casualties, abuses, tortures and other horrific stories that we let into our lounge rooms and bedrooms on a daily basis.  All of this violence takes it’s toll on us.

It’s easy to blame all this on all of our tools.  I’m not trying to say that technology is the spawn of Satan – technology makes our lives much more convenient and pleasurable.  It’s not technology that is at fault, instead, everything began with the simple goal of keeping “in touch” with everything and everyone.  With our constant desire for extrospective stimulation we’ve turned that into “never being out of touch”, making our every day feel more frantic and rushed.

 This need to “never be out of touch” has been attributed by psychologists, to conditions like attention deficit disorder.  It has been the cause of Nomophobia, which is “the fear of being out of mobile phone contact”.  The need to never be out of touch is so great, that around the world rehabilitation centres have been opened for technologically addicted children.

In my opinion, creativity and depth of thought has highly been affected by the need to never be out of touch as well.   Just look at modern day children, supposedly the most creative beings there are.  They rarely go on lavish imaginary adventures anymore, or sit down to make figurines out of popsicle sticks, or make their own hand-drawn comic books.  To them, as well as us, reality seems too silent, too frustratingly inert and non-interactive. The sense of wonder and mystery is being lost.

Sure, many solutions have been proposed . There’s software like Inbox Pause that puts your messages on hold.  There are other services that limit the amount of time you spend online, or block every ad and piece of jargon around the contents of a webpage.

But the more we connect through technology, the more our thoughts lean outwards.  What makes life meaningful is your inner feelings, your passions, your dreams and to cultivate those you require introspection, deep mental focus and self-discovery.

Technology brings the burden that anyone, any information, anywhere is always within reach. This makes you feel that you should be taking advantage of all the information, and that you should fill your time with as much stimulation as you can.

I hope some of you feel a desire to be away from the tumult of the technological crowd the same way I do.  In order to fully enjoy technology, it would be a wise idea to learn to cultivate time disconnected away from the eternal cyber buzz around us.

If there’s anything that I’ve learnt, it’s that only when you learn to be comfortable with your solitude, without the need of stimulation, will you become inwardly content.  When you drop the need for others and other things to stimulate you, you can then develop the ability to think of other people with more care and interest. It’s not about what they can provide for you anymore.  In the comfort of your aloneness, you can ask yourself instead: What can I provide them?

Try taking some time out to put some space between yourself and the cyber crowd, otherwise you might get lost in the Technological Labyrinth .

 It is true that technology gives us many advantages and allows us to do more things in less time, but we should be smart enough to use it for our benefit with moderation and not that it catches us and makes us addicted to it.

For a better world.

6 thoughts on “ETERNALLY CONNECTED: HOW TECHNOLOGY DISCONNECTS YOU FROM YOURSELF

  1. Cristina, Well written, and thank you.

    Oh gosh”yes” from my camp/ paradigm. I wholeheartedly agree. Nowadays, in light of the coming Golden Age, if anyone needs to be “saved” , it is those who have lots their consciousness, their spirit-self connection to technology or the “ blue-pill” way of thinking, or both. So grateful am I that I found consciousness long before technology so dominated society ( having dwelled in this body for 60 years) and learned about the NWO Agenda and what it is tied to on a multi-plane level before things got to a peak.

    Those of who are organic beings still need to assist those who are receptive to “Red -Pilled” thinking and practices of balance and conneting to higher self. Especially after “The Event” we will be so needed.

    Thank you for your spirit in writng this article and than you to all who resonate with it.

    From the heart.

  2. I feel SO thankful I never became a
    slave to social media, games and apps, etc.
    While I enjoy reading positive and life encouraging or learning about global articles online, which includes some articles at PFC, if we did not have the internet, I’d still be doing that with other learning or introspective type books as I always have, but still my reading time is limited with either way. I’ve NEVER been a TV watcher, so perhaps this has been a good foundation to avoid external addictions.
    I spend much free time (outside of my holistic counseling), with meditative walking, hiking and/or kayaking and such.
    I do think it’s important to connect with friends … REAL friends, but not with addiction. I’m even playing my flute again.
    This was a great article to remind others to back away from technology a bit. Start with stopping one thing or limit yourself. It’s easier than you think because all it is is a habit which can be broken. Just do it! You’ll feel really good! 🙂

  3. Thank you for such a spot-on commentary. We’ve always looked for an outward distraction to avoid feeling our feelings, and now technology has delivered endless distraction to our doorstep so that we never have to feel or experience anything without being able to re-size it, compartmentalize it, control it, and/or alter it to make it more palatable (e.g. Photoshop.) And as you correctly point out, all of our experience becomes merely an abstraction of the actual experience…we are busy capturing the moment on our phone in order to experience what necessarily is a scaled-down version of it in the future.

    Also, the whole process feeds upon itself. The more we connect to ourselves, the less lonely we feel. The more we look outwardly for all of our experiences, the more disconnected from ourselves we become, and the more we need to seek external stimulation to avoid the feelings of loneliness. We trade that which might be genuinely fulfilling for an enviable number of ‘likes,” feeding our ego rather than our heart or our soul. Unfortunately, our ego is never satisfied and always demands ‘more’ and ‘bigger,’ while it simultaneously feels ‘lack’ in comparison to those who invariably have more.

    Thank you again for the sanity break and the wake-up call.

  4. New Moon meditations on Friday, July 13th

    https://www.welovemassmeditation.com/2018/07/new-moon-meditations-on-friday-july-13th.html

  5. An article at the Minghui website was what REALLY got me to cease playing online games.

    Now I have yet to delete certain social media and forum accounts.

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