I remember the day I got my first iPhone, a friend of mine said: watch out, your life will never be the same again. I could not conceptualize how a phone - that I previously used to make calls and send text messages - could change my life. How silly of me. We are a community of addicts, created by a very well intended Steve Jobs. The phone brings us connection to friends - seeing their worlds and lives from thousands of miles away, games, ability to learn languages, check email, fax, scan, create videos, track out fitness and and endless list of other things. But, with everything in life, there is the good and the bad, what is the toll technology is taking on our body and soul?
A Healthline article explains that amongst the positive uses of technologu, the list of physical and emotional issues excessive technology usage has on our bodies and minds is extensive. Some of which include: eye strain, increased anxiety/depression, sleep disruption, increased ADHD in children, and contributing to childhood obesity.
Our versions of life have shifted so dramatically that there is a loss of interpersonal communication, socialization and ability to simply be present in life. We have all had those moments being the observer or the one guilty of completely shutting down in the presence of people we ordinarily would not consider ignoring for the very virtual and often fake world of the internet, of social media, for the constant desire to be acknowledged by volumes of people we don’t even know. We are willing to sacrifice real face to face connectedness, looking into someone else’s eyes, feeling their energy, truly absorbing what they are saying - for a constant reinforcement that we matter to a mirage of a community. To make matters worse, society has accepted the illusion of social media as a measure of success - yet another opportunity for bullying, false hierarchy and the emphasis on the material, vapid lives instead of substance and love. We lose empathy, lose the understanding of reality, we just lose.
I remember sitting at this incredible cafe in Paris on a crooked cobblestone side street, off the beaten path sipping a coffee after walking 15,000 steps around the gorgeous blossoming city in the springtime. Across from me was someone I collaborated with, traveled with, had a relationship with. I remember sitting there feeling the calm and surrender of rest after so much physical exertion, the warm coffee, the beauty around me and my companion staring at his phone, looking down, captivated by likes, comments and other people’s existence when he was missing his very own. I felt sad, unworthy and as if I would be less lonely if I was actually just alone. We do this to each other all the time. We disassociate from the moment our physical bodies, our minds are actually in - reality, for technology. We go to yoga, meditate, collect crystals and burn sage - all in an attempt to reconnect when perhaps we should start with putting the phone down, feeling our bodies sitting in our chair, feet on the ground, hands cupping a warm cup of tea, skin caressed by a graceful wind, the company of people we love, who we see and give our true attention to. Perhaps then there will be more love in the world, more understanding of each other’s suffering, happiness and all the things in between.