12 Jan Digital Enlightenment
I run an online business. I spend a lot of time on the computer, but I have quite a love hate relationship with the internet and technology.
I believe that having access to free flowing information is an amazing thing. It means creativity, sharing positive messages, and learning new things are all unlimited. Never before could we access ideas, mobilise movements, instigate connections at the rate and ease that we do today. Without technology I wouldn’t be able to contact my loved ones from the other side of the world, share my eco living and planet loving messages with others so widely, or even download meditations from Deepak Chopra!
With all the positives of the digital world, the negatives that come with it are plentiful.
We are losing ourselves and our connections to both people and the planet within technology.
These are a few of the issues I see coming from a digital overdose:
- We are losing the ability to just be in the here and now. Mindfulness and sitting with your own thoughts has no room in a digital world.
- Face to Face relationships with people ( even close family members) are being stifled by the need to be online.
- We don’t look outside, let alone go outside just for the sake of it ( especially without a smart device with us.)
- The messages we are sent from media in all forms is one of fear, scarcity, and lack. This drives people to want more, need more, and never feel like they have enough.
- The constant usage of technology is completely normalised, so we aren’t even realising how disconnected to reality it is making us.
- So much information is coming at us that we can seldom know what is the truth and what is slanted.
I could keep going, but you get the point.
I have thought long and hard about this relationship with technology. I love it for so many reasons, but I hate the negatives that come with it and how I see it impacting on society negatively.
Throwing away my phone and computer and going to live in the country crossed my mind, but then sharing my passion and making a bigger difference in the world and for the planet would cease.
My solution comes from this analogy:
The way we currently consume information and use technology can be compared to eating fast food daily. We are gobbling it all in and not taking notice if it’s actually good for us or not.
What if we move away from ‘fast food technology’ and move to ‘organic whole foods technology’? Organic Wholefood technology and digital usage is good for us, it propels us forwards, inspires us and bring us up… not down!
If we utilise the digital world with a more mindful approach, we can still reap all the amazing benefits that come from it, and at the same time be conscious of the negatives and reduce them.
I am striving to have a healthy technology diet and I have a few ways I bring some boundaries into my life around technology and media: (I am not perfect… you will see facebook posts from me past 9pm, but I am working on it!)
- Get rid of the TV! Or limit when it can be on.
- Choose a time and place (and the right head space) to listen to the news or read a newspaper
- Don’t have constant social media, email or txt alerts.
- Don’t have the news or radio on in the background.
- Choose time limits and boundaries for radio, TV, internet, social media, and texting
- Have rules like: no technology in the bed room or after 9 pm or before 8 am
- Get outside everyday and connect with some form of nature – just for the sake of it
- Reduce negatives influences and increase the positive ones
- During social times or meal times have a no digital interruptions rule.
A Little while ago I read the words Digital Enlightenment and it came from Brian Hiss who has a site called www.experiencepeople.org. Brian has taken a trip across the US over 12 weeks, to 20 cities, on a journey to bring awareness and a call for change when it comes to digital addiction.
The term Digital Enlightenment does it for me – it represents what I feel we need when it comes to our relationship with the digital world. I think we need to spread this message far and wide. While I encourage you to have real face to face conversations with people about it, I also see the value of spreading it online (#digitalenlightenment ). I think part of the conversation need to be figuring out what it means to you and how to create it in your own life.
Here’s to engaging a higher consciousness when it comes to our relationships with technology and media.
Feel free to share your thoughts below… or don’t and just go outside and enjoy an aspect of nature instead.