There’s a New Lifestyle
Being connected, getting information all the time, having constant distractions … it has all become a part of our lives.
Computers, at one time, were a small part of our lives — yet, they were huge and took up all of the space in the room. Perhaps we used them at work. They had limited capabilities — we could only do certain things with desktop applications, and while solitaire is definitely addicting, it doesn’t take up your entire life.
Nevertheless, in the car and on the train, and usually at home and when we’re out doing other things, we were disconnected.
Not so anymore.
Computers are taking over our lives, just like the science fiction movies foretold. And while I’m as tech nerd as any non-professional tech person is (more so in many cases), I also think we need to consider the consequences of this new lifestyle.
I’m not sure we have been adequately prepared for the sci-fi life physically or spiritually. We don’t have new strategies for dealing with being connected most of the time. We don’t have new cultural norms/ We haven’t figured out if this is the best way to live life. We’ve been plunged into it, before we could develop a system for handling it.
It’s an Addiction.
There’s instant positive feedback to such constant activities as checking email, surfing the web, checking social networks such as blogs, forums, Twitter and Facebook. That’s why it’s so easy to become addicted to being connected and distracted.
Other addictive activities, such as doing drugs or eating junk food, have the same kind of instant positive feedback — you do the activity, and right away, you’re rewarded with something pleasurable but don’t feel the negative consequences until much later. Checking email, or any similar online activity, has that addictive quality of instant positive feedback and delayed negative feedback.
You check your email and hey! A new email from a friend! You get a positive feeling, perhaps a validation of your self-worth, when you receive a new email. It feels good to get a message from someone. And thus the instant positive feedback rewards you checking email, more and more frequently, until the addiction is solidly ingrained.
Now, you might later get tired of answering all your email, because it’s overwhelming and difficult to keep up with. But usually by then, you’re addicted and can’t stop checking. And usually the checking of the email has positive reward (a good feeling), but it’s the activity of answering all the emails that isn’t as fun.
We’ll explore how we can stop this addiction later, when we talk about the beauty of disconnection.
Gettin’ my fix with you,
Mindy ~ The Goddess of Healing