Finding Presence in Cell-Free Living ~ How Much Technology is “Too Much”?
Could you do it? Could you go cell-free? We are so connected all the time that it can be difficult to imagine life without a Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, etc.
Personally, I love my having an iPhone. It has helped me avoid many minor inconveniences, and above all, is especially useful during travel. When was the last time you spotted a phone booth?
We do pay a “cost” for this constant connection, and it is no secret that our desire for technology at our fingertips may contribute to a bit of a disconnect in our “real” lives. Last year I watched Lori Deschene of Tiny Buddha speak of her conscious choice to not own a cell phone. She wanted to connect with people and live in the present moment and believed that by owning a cell phone, she would be losing that opportunity, likely choosing to check email instead of engage.
This truth is undeniable. How often do you check your phone at a stop light when you are out walking around, or while in the waiting room in the doctors office? We all do it.
Last week USA Today published an article titled, “Technology can push our crazy buttons, rewire brains” opening up a discussion focusing on the overflow of information we all have access to and questioning, “how much is too much?”.
A variety of expert opinions are included, though brain researcher Gary Small from the University of California-Los Angeles is quite possibly the most eye-opening. Small says that our brains are literally being rewired due to the constant interruption, or activity occurring. Our inability to complete a task without interruption is causing this rewiring.
Another expert, psychiatrist Steve Daviss of the Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie, Md. believes that we’re experiencing Pavlov’s Classic Conditioning each time we hear that “ding”. Daviss revealed, “There’s good evidence the feedback we get from technology — the retweets and bings and pings that come out of the phone every time somebody sends us a text message — create a reward system in the brain that gives us a little squirt of dopamine each time.”
There is certainly enough research today to prove that there are is both a positive and negative side to having a constant connection and flow of information.
How do you feel about this information? Do you think smartphones are helping or hindering our society?