DISCLAIMER: I love technology ,it can give us access to something powerful or it can become a tool that promotes procrastination while diminishing brain cells. It is not a black or white conversation. Just like a knife it can be used to cut fruit or it can be used to hurt someone.
My raising this topic is more a reality check into the fact that for most of us, the balance is off. Hand on heart can you say that you are using tech to learn and fill your head and heart with education and inspiration? If so, I salute you, you are a current minority.
Yes that’s right, from Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, to the late Steve Jobs, putting in place measure to protected their own children and family from the addictive nature of this new age drug, but what about the rest of us? Are we are all hooked?
I didn’t see the warning signs when I bought my new Iphone 8s.
Are these technology moguls as bad as the Wall Street bankers absolved of responsibility?
Current Apple CEO, Tim Cook, as well many Silicon Valley parents are aware of the dangers of social media saturation and limit or even disallow allow it in their households.
Sean Parker, the first president of Facebook, says that social networks are exploiting human “vulnerability” saying “God only knows what it is doing to our children’s brains”.
Chamath Palihapitiya, former Facebook executive, said social media was “destroying how society works” and that he felt “tremendous guilt” for being involved in its growth.
We are living in a time when the biggest anxieties, depressions and mental health problems are caused by a potent combination of isolation and over-exposure. People can have more pain consumption in one day than in what was previously felt in a entire lifetime.
Recent research suggested that social media usage increases the risk of depression by 27% and points to the link between mental health and tech usage in the rise in teenage suicide rates.
Science now point to the the spike in dopamine when on social media, emails and the constant connectedness nature of modern technology. This is the same chemical that fires in the brain when people are addicted to drugs, gambling, sex.
Dopamine reduces the ability to produce serotonin, this is the chemical that keeps us happy. The more dopamine present the less serotonin we can have.
As a society, we need to unplug from this constant noise and become present, make eye contact with people more than technology.
One way I am attempting to curb my addiction is through meditation, even 10 minutes every day. When my mind is clear I can look for more value, seek what is higher, overcome ego, jealousy, envy, negative self talk and judgement.
The technological era is here and its here to stay. I am not promoting or shaming social media users, god half my work is done on social platforms, however I am concerned with some of the stats and studies around the addictive nature of how much is too much and what the long term affects will be.
One quote, that really gets me assessing my own usage is from the Bhagavad-Gita:
” Detachment is not that you own nothing; detachment is that nothing owns you”