Living consciously is, perhaps, nigh on impossible in today’s digital age. It’s hard not to notice that technology has advanced tremendously in the past 100 years or so.
Since entering into the 21st century almost a decade ago, the age of communication has risen phenomenally and has, at the same time, made the planet a smaller place in terms of networking with other human beings in every part of the globe.
What troubles me is that most of us have become all so dependent on technology for everyday tasks (well, I’m typing this blog on a computer, aren’t I), as well as allowing it to affect our emotional state detrimentally if it dares go wrong – as I have witnessed many a time happen to staff members at my workplace.
The thing I’ve observed is that we have allowed our own consciousness to be superceded by this technology, something that in the long run, I feel, will do us more harm than good.
Technology has its benefits but certain questions must be asked in terms of our own general interaction with it and personal growth:
1. Have we become psychologically and socially more aware of ourselves and surroundings because of technology?
2. Do we actually use our brains more than we did before the advancement of technology?
3. Can technology enhance our spiritual growth and wisdom of mind?
For me, the answer is a big fat “NO” to all the questions above. You are absolutely free to disagree with my sentiments, so if you have any complaints either email, fax, text, or twitter me on whatever mode of technology you so wish to use.
Before you rush off to do just that, let me first ask you an observational question, which may or may not change your minds: have you ever noticed anyone (or even yourself) in the street who is so engrossed into their latest fashion accessory (iPhone, Blackberry, Mp3 player, etc) that they are completely unaware of their surroundings? I have noticed, so much so that I have seen people almost run over in the road because they were so distracted – or on a more annoying scale, bumping into me without even the little so-and-so’s realising and apologising for it.
A recommended book that comes to mind and is relevant to my observations on technology distracting the human mind is Distraction: Being Human in the Digital Age which focuses on our obsession with technology in our everyday lives and it’s possible negative effects on us and society as a whole.
So, we must learn to strike a fine balance between the use of these machines and being conscious of ourselves, nature and human relationships. Technology should be only used as a tool to do certain tasks and not it to become a way of life. Personally, I’ve got a lot to learn in that regard.
For the sake of future generations we, who at present have forced upon them this technological beast, must be careful not to teach them just that. Encouraging within tomorrow’s children human wisdom, consciousness and spirituality would benefit this world a whole lot more than just teaching them to become mindless mechanical beings who have knowledge of computers but not of themselves.
Surely, if we can succeed in imparting wisdom into their impressionable minds they will hopefully learn to respect and look after the planet, and not just their machines.
I will leave you with a quote from the late philosopher, Alan Watts which should wake you up from out of your self-imposed prison of The Matrix.
“Inability to accept the mystic experience is more than an intellectual handicap. Lack of awareness of the basic unity of organism and environment is a serious and dangerous hallucination. For in a civilization equipped with immense technological power, the sense of alienation between man and nature leads to the use of technology in a hostile spirit—to the “conquest” of nature instead of intelligent co-operation with nature.”
~ Alan Watts, Psychedelics and Religious Experience