Life TherapyTM
Psychotherapy & Coaching + Mindfulness & Meditation

Technology: Does it Get in the Way of Living?

Check out this fascinating Huffington Post article. It speaks of the societal obsession with being in front of a screen…which can ultimately get in the way of living life.
Spectator Nation: Are you a Screen Junkie?
Thank you to our JasminBalance viewer for sharing with us!

Here are some article highlights:
  • “If there’s one thing the U.S. economy is booming in, it’s the production of mass quantities of onlookers. We have become a nation of spectators, zoning into the glow of digital and high-def screens….”
  • “…oblivious to the sun in the sky, the breeze in the trees…”
  • “We see some of the side effects in growing childhood obesity and a generation of kids who don’t go outdoors…”
  • For adults, too much watching and not enough participating can create a state very close to learned helplessness, a condition which can be set off by loss of control and which makes you less willing to act. You get out of the habit of following your curiosity or initiating activities you think up. Sure, there are lots of interesting things on our screens, but a steady diet of watching trains us to be professional audience members. Better leave the living up to others — the stars with the production values, the experts, the pros. It’s as if life is an event you buy at Ticketmaster and sit through till the final act.”
  • “The screens are in charge, and that means we’re not.”
  • “…we have two reactions to being controlled — compliance and defiance, both of them equally subjugating and that don’t allow us to express our authentic self.”
  • “The constant filter of the screens removes us from the visceral experience of our lives and keeps us on the sidelines, when our brains want to get in the game. We’re not designed to watch. We’re built to participate and satisfy needs that demand self-determined action — from pursuing activities that make us feel free and competent to those that connect us with real, live people and fulfill our social animal mandate.”
  • “When you’re under the spell of screens, you also miss out on a central vehicle for increasing happiness: experiences.”
  • “You wind up living vicariously through the experiences of others on your screens. Writing off experiences shuts off the most effective way of generating the positive events that go into telling you whether you like your life or not. Experiences connect us with others and tap authentic places within ourselves, which is why they’re so critical. They satisfy your need to need to explore, grow and express your need to be more than a seat-holder.”
  • “As the screens invade, cultures seem to move from the participant column to spectating, in the process losing leisure skills.”
  • “‘If you don’t have any skills, what do you do?’ asks Seppo Iso-Asola, a leading researcher in the role that leisure plays in health. ‘You turn the TV on.'”

In my opinion, technology is an amazing tool that can truly help us get more access to living a full and vibrant life, just as long as we intentionally utilize it as a tool rather than an experience. All about balance right? 😉

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