Posted on 2nd Sept 2012
The high definition screen of social cyberspace paints a very different picture to the one we live out in ‘real’ life – one with piles of happy photographs, thousands of ‘friends’, several ‘like’ clicks and heaps of fans. But behind the promise of an idealized existence where we can be whatever we want to be with unlimited power at our fingertips, the hard facts offer a different and sad story.
Research has indicated that the utopian Internet is in fact making people crazier, lonelier, nauseous, depressed, anxious, impolite, dumber, antisocial and more prone to becoming obsessive and compulsive as well as suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
Have we ever stopped to wonder what will happen when the plug is pulled and we are left without any connectivity… the day we have to finally face ourselves?
Peter Whybrow, the director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, argues that “the computer is like electronic cocaine,” fuelling cycles of mania followed by depressive stretches. It “fosters our obsessions, dependence, and stress reactions,” adds Larry Rosen, a California psychologist who has researched the Net’s effect for decades. It “encourages—and even promotes—insanity.” (Newsweek-The Daily Beast, by Tony Dokoupil)
The engine of social media and instant communication is now so ingrained in many people’s psyche that it is impossible to switch it off. It is rewiring us, forming a new breed of unhealthy relationships and fantasies, where we are losing control of ourselves. It has a hold on us that we may dislike but one we cannot resist. People get on the Net even before getting out of bed expecting to catch the next ping, ring or ding!
If this obsession continues, it is likely our next generation will grow up with a smartphone in hand, face down and completely devoid of human contact and interpersonal skills – in a word – a zombie!
If you think you are immune to this disease, then just check the number of times you check your cell phone or emails in one day. What would happen to you physically and emotionally if this electronic cocaine were to be taken away for even a day?
The conclusion of an experiment ‘unplugged’ conducted by the University of Maryland in 2010 asking 200 undergrads to forgo all Web and mobile technologies for a day and to keep a diary of their feelings was “most college students are not just unwilling, but functionally unable to be without their media links to the world”.
The term Internet is a misnomer, instead of taking us inward into ourselves, it should be termed ‘outernet’, taking us to the farthest corners of reality, and very far away from our inner core, our true being.
Before we get too lost in cyberspace with our Gravatars, it’s time to remember that we are human “beings”. Perhaps it’s time to get back to basics and re-build some real relationships – first of all with ourselves, and then with the people sitting in the same room, completely free from the reliance of any electrical wire!
From the invention of electricity, to motorcars, to instant connectivity – technology has some great things to offer and our lives would be much less comfortable without it. However it is time to reclaim our own inner power and to remember just who should be in the driver’s seat. Who is the master? Me or the machine? I or the iPad?
We need also to remember that when the battery of the soul is down, nothing in our lives will work. It is essential to recharge and refresh regularly for inner power and optimum results. The only place to refill that power is with God, the Divine. No amount of ‘outernet’ activity can replenish the soul, on the contrary it will only deplete it. The wireless communication we are truly seeking is the one with God, the one who is constantly charged and overflowing with the spark of excitement the soul really seeks.
It’s time… to face the real people in the real world and go back to basics. Spend a day or even half a day away from the Net or your mobile phone to enjoy your own company. Then when you finally get tired of your virtual reality there’s a real one just a thought away…
Share these thoughts!
It’s Time is spreading far and wide! Feel free to forward this wisdom, but to avoid any karmic rebound, please acknowledge its source –
‘It’s Time’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London