We’re living in a time where things are speeding up. Advances in technology are allowing things to happen faster and faster and we’re no longer the simple people we were centuries ago living and working on farms.
This post is not about labeling or judging technology as good or bad, but rather to bring a greater awareness to how it’s impacting us, so we can navigate the world mindfully.
For me what’s important here is the context of human connection. Does technology connect us and bring us closer together, or does it disconnect us? Do we use it consciously or are we consumed by it?
There is definitely an increasing level of disconnection happening as a result of technology which we can all see for ourselves (if we want to admit it). As you read on, reflect on what you see out in the world and on what you do.
More and more people are spending more and more time on their smart phone for example. It’s the immediate go to anytime there’s a few minutes with nothing to do. Simply pull out your phone and you’ll be entertained for as long as you like… and usually longer than you expect or plan.
When I say entertained, I mean more of a distraction. It distracts us from the present moment, it distracts us from being by our self and how we feel, in essence disconnecting us from our self.
Have you noticed how common it is to see a couple sitting together, or a small group, not speaking to each other but all of them are on their phones?
It’s also disconnecting us from each other, but I believe the root of this comes back to being disconnected from our self, keeping superficial levels of our mind busy and distracted and never getting to know a sense of peace inside our self.
Have you noticed this?
Do you do this?
Technology also has the power to connect us with friends and family in ways that we could not have experiences many years ago. As you read on here, if you’re not old enough to remember these actual times, just imagine you lived then and try to appreciate how different it was, so by contrast we can more deeply appreciate what we have now.
Imagine a time before phones, if you were not in the physical presence of someone you would have to send a letter. Have you ever done this? I have. Think about how carefully you choose your words. The care that goes into it because you know it will take a long time before you receive a response. Quite different to emails. We still write but they’re transported instantly.
Emails can still be written with care and are a way to stay connected, but there’s a reason why we can set up a “cancel email” button which delays when it’s actually sent… Because people click send too quickly without the same care.
Then came telecommunication. Through a telephone we were able to connect with family and friends long distance in real time. This was originally with land lines, where we were unable to take the phone with us.
Pause here for a moment. Can you feel the sense of advancing, from letters to speaking long distance? There’s a speeding up. What may have taken many months to communicate via letters, could be achieved in the span of a single conversation.
Imagine being separated from loved ones or friends for a prolonged time, receiving a letter would be special, but with phones, you could now hear their voice. We take it for granted now, but if you haven’t heard your loved one’s voice for months, this would be another level of special.
Then we had mobile phones. Cell phones. We could carry this communication device where ever we went. Here, there is another level of speeding up as you could make a call whenever you had the impulse. Less waiting. More immediacy.
Then came the internet, and with the invention of platforms like Skype we can see the people we are talking to, bringing another level of connection, seeing the faces of the people we’re connecting with, parents, children husband and wives. How many people live in the same city as their parents? Seeing and speaking to parents, children or close friends when they’ve moved to another country. Again, there is something special about it.
I know whenever I speak to my parents on Skype back in Australia, one of the first things they’ll say if I’ve forgotten to turn the camera on is, “I can’t see you.” Hearing and seeing… Precious.
One of the things I love about technology is the ability to reach and connect with more people around the world, creating a global community. The mission of the Peacekeeper Project is to impact humanity by helping more people quiet their mind so they can live from the heart, which in itself created deeper connection. This is done through teaching meditation and mindfulness, so thanks to technology more people can learn and join in from where ever they happen to be.
How do you use technology?
These platforms were originally restricted to our computer, but now internet is integrated with our phones and we carry it where ever we go. This not only give us access to lines of communication, but also access to everything that the internet provides; connection, entertainment, distraction, instant gratification… and fast.
Technology has its place, and we can learn to use it mindfully. Rather than trying to see technology as good or bad, look at how it impacts your life and decide what is important for you.
Where do you use technology in your life? Does it connect or disconnect you (from yourself or family and friends)?
Do you find yourself always going to your phone when you have nothing to do? Is this because you’re uncomfortable with silence?
Do you find yourself turning to your phone when sitting having a meal with family or friends? Ask yourself, is this a symptom of a disconnection in your relationship, or is your relationship becoming disconnected because of your phone?
How do you feel when you connect with your family or friends online?
Where do you use technology to bring more connection into your life, and where does it distract and disconnect you?
Unconscious habits remain habits, while habits we make conscious can be changed.
When we recognize what we do, we have the opportunity to change it.
The goal is to live mindfully.