Technology - The killer of mindfulness?

Updated: Nov 28, 2018

Well… That escalated quickly. In fact it’s still escalating.

Technological advances are doubling in pace - a phenomenon known as Moore’s law. The quicker technology advances, the more consuming it is and the harder it becomes to remain current and competent.

“Before mobile phones were commercially viable, before wide use of the Internet and when Tamagotchis were the most advanced on your person gadget.”

Think back to the 1990’s. Before mobile technology was commercially viable, before wide use of the Internet and when Tamagotchis were the most advanced on your person gadget. What did people do when they were sitting in a waiting room, sitting at the bus stop, or sitting on their sofa's? What did people do when they felt lonely, or needed to speak to someone? What did they do when you were hungry or needed to do some shopping? They waited patiently, explored their surroundings, their minds, feelings and thoughts; then got up and walked to the shops, or their neighbours and friends. That’s all they knew and there were no alternatives. In turn habitual conditioning their mind and body to be active, explorative, open to experience, communicative, physical and energised.

Typically evolution has taught animals to expend as little energy as possible, making mobile technology an addictive premise, with unwanted side effects. The increase of pace in our lives allows us to be constantly productive, making us feel like there’s always more that can be done in a day. It socially isolates us and has made community seem like a vacant memory. It has conditioned us to stay seated, while longing for more – one more swipe, one more like, one more scroll –. It promises so much but delivers so little. It puts out minds on constant alert, with buzzing, flashing and ringing; and when the notifications stop, our minds have an afterglow, drawing us back to our devices, seeking, craving and lusting after one more hit. Starting the whole cycle all over again, fuelling neuroticism, narcissism, machiavellianism, self-loathing, despair and desperation, infecting the mind and destroying the soul. The exact opposite of what a technology free world provides, the opposite environment we’ve been conditioned to interact, sculpt and play with.

It appears that technology is distracting us and removing us from what’s important. It’s making us uncomfortable with spending time with our thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations, and putting us out of touch with who we are. It takes away our time for self-reflection, self-understanding and self-integration and enters us into a virtual reality that doesn’t engage our whole being, in turn unbalancing perception, the psyche and the senses.

Evidence suggests the following:

  • We absorbed more information when we read from printed text, compared to e-readers.

  • ADHD can be acquired by overusing Smart Phones.

  • Smart phones can deregulate GABA signaling. — GABA is the chemical used to inhibit signaling in the brain —.

  • That the use of social media can increase traits such as narcissism, machiavellianism, and psychopathy.

  • Mobile phones have been linked with cancer, infertility & mental health problems.

  • Blue light before bed is linked with circadian disturbances, which can have corollary effects on immunity, mood, energy and digestion.

  • That more time spent on social media is correlated with more feelings of isolation.

The evidence above is only the tip of the iceberg; however, it highlights many key areas that all feed into one holistic conclusion. Technology, when used inappropriately, has seriously negative consequences on our health and well-being. Moreover, there are no guidelines for what is considered a non-detrimental and healthy use of technology, further muddying the waters.

Now the verdict's out… What to do?

The goods news is, there’s lots that can be done and most of the negative consequences can be reversed; however, it's worth noting the earlier you make the change the more reversible the effects.

We need to take responsibility and actively choose to be more mindful and make more time for activities away from technology. Moreover, we need to look at our devices as a last resort, not a first port of call. Habits are hard to break, but once they’re broken, it’s easier to be self-aware and not fall back into self-destructive behaviours. For example, when you’re bored don’t look to your phone to entertain you. When you’re hungry, don’t look to your phone to order your food. When you’re feeling lonely, don’t look to social media to fill the void. Visit your neighbours, interact with your surroundings and go and live your life!

If you’re really struggling and don’t know where to start, or if you’re simply interested in self-improvement, book in for one of the Lifestyle, Innovation and Fitness Therapies initial consultations. We deliver plans that allows you to break your habits, improve the negative consequences of technology and give you a new lease of life.

#ADHD #GABA #MentalHealth #Narcissism #Machiavellianism #Psychopathy #LIFTclinic #Lifestyle #Innovation #Fitness #Health #Mindfullness #Meditation


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