The Mindful Use of Technology
Using technology mindfully is an art...
Posted Jul 09, 2013
As if we didn’t already have enough ways of avoiding what’s going on in our minds, we now have e-mails and social media routed to our mobiles so we can be truly distracted all day. As convenient as that may be, it means that now even the slightest feeling of boredom or restlessness is a trigger to get online and keep busy. Take a moment to think about it. What’s the first thing you do each day? Is it checking your e-mails? Perhaps sending messages on Facebook, interacting with friends or work colleagues through Twitter? And what’s the last thing you do at night before going to sleep? If the research is accurate, then there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll be doing at least one of these things at either end of the day, if not all of them. It’s pretty hard to switch off when you’re permanently plugged in.
Existing in modern life means that just ‘turning it off’ is not always an option. So instead of trying to stop or change the presence of technology (which has also brought us so many wonderful things), we need to look at how we can relate to it skilfully and not feel overwhelmed. Here are 5 practical tips on the mindful use of technology to help you make the most out of your experiences in an ever-increasingly tech-driven world.
It is not what technology does to us, it is what we do to technology. Used skillfully, it can improve and enhance our lives beyond our wildest imagination. Used unskillfully, it can leave us feeling lonely, isolated, agitated and overwhelmed. Get smart with technology, choose wisely and use it in a way that benefits both you and those around you.
A reactive mind is an unpredictable mind, easily agitated and often overwhelmed. When we live in a way which encourages this reactivity, such as grabbing the phone as though it were an emergency every time it rings, we encourage this pattern to continue. So take the time to pause, to exhale, to be present. Begin the conversation in the right frame of mind, clear, calm and ready to listen.
The digital age allows us to engage with positive causes and social missions in a way once thought unimaginable. In a fast-paced world it can stimulate change, disseminate knowledge, build community and encourage support. Social engagement of this kind has the power to break down barriers, to bring us closer together, allowing us to shape and define the values we wish to live by, for both ourselves and others.
How often have you sent an email to the wrong person, or taken to twitter without considering the consequences? What’s the hurry? The world can surely wait another 30 seconds to hear what we have to say. So take time to pause, to breathe, to check, before pushing that button.
Whilst technology may have increased our frequency of communication, it has come at considerable cost. The digital space is seen by many as a place to say what they want, how they want and when they want. Sure, freedom of speech has its place, but not if the desired result is to intentionally hurt or harm others. So play nice, communicate kindly and enjoy the happy, healthy side of technology.
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