This is my song for April, so old skool, it came back into my life when I was away for yoga training at Easter with Elena Brower, flash back central, love Mary J…
I recently ran a course on ‘feeling’ not so much about feelings but more about what it’s like to actually feel, particularly in yoga practice. With the evolution of technology we as humans are forgetting what it is to really feel, the excitement of meeting a new partner on a first date, the sadness at someone being hurt or even the simple humility of someone cracking a joke in person; so why is this?
Recent statistics show that in 2017 the number of mobile phone users is forecast to reach 4.77billion and spending on devices in 2016 is forecast to be around
$3,492 billion, wtf? Considering the total number of people living in the world today is around 7.4 billion that means almost half us are armed with a mobile phone.
Understandably the world is changing and so it should, however, should this be at the expense of us as humans losing our inner instinct, are inner sat nav?? Our ability to just be comfortable in our own skin and feel what we truly feel?
Our phones, ipads, laptops seem to be within arms reach constantly, the ease of looking at your phone at the drop of hat has now created a whole new addiction, ‘Addiction to Technology’ we literally cannot live without it. We have all been I that social situation where we are the first one to arrive at the pub, or a dinner, rather than just sitting to take in the surroundings i.e. good old people watching, we reach for our phones and trawl through emails, or social media, the mobile phone has literally become society’s comfort blanket. This addiction has then created another addiction, ‘FOBO’ fear of being offline, our first interaction with front of house staff is now ‘can you tell me your wifi code please’, we’re forgetting even simple etiquette.
Now, I am not the social media police or part of a social media vigilante group, I am all for social media, I use it as a tool to share my passion for yoga, however, I can totally see how it can become addictive and this is where I become slightly nervous. So, how do we know where to draw the line? For us adults I believe we have it slightly easier, this new age technology hasn’t always been around so we have had the experience of life before technology. Back then we just knew where to be when we wanted to see our mates, and if we wanted a chat, we used to pick up the landline, and if we didn’t have one, we took a stroll to their house and just knocked on the door and asked ‘are you coming out’? Now it’s a text, wassap, facebook message, the list goes on, people aren’t even using their phones to talk any more, we communicate through the keyboard.
For the younger generation they don’t know any different, seeing a two year old with an ipad is the norm, it’s become the virtual nanny almost.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics concerns for today’s teenagers is increasing as the rise in facebook depression is paramount, the play ground bully barely exists, it’s the cyber bully that we need to watch out for. It has been recorded that being shunned on social media affects teenagers more than it does if it was to happen in real life – incredible.
Addiction to internet is becoming a serious issue, we have access to anything we desire at the touch of the button and if we don’t know something we no longer refer to the family encyclopedia, we just ask google.
To add to this, a study published earlier this year by two US academics claimed that students are becoming increasingly self absorbed as a result of modern technology and are more likely to display narcissistic behaviour and less likely to show empathy, this is displayed in habitual behavior such as constantly updating social media, posting the daily selfie or generally just having a rant.
It’s not just teenagers who are guilty of this, adults are just as bad, the social pressure on how to look is unreal, before it was magazines that were slated for creating negative body image, social media has increased this issue ten fold. And now it goes beyond just image, the way in which people are living their lives pisses people off, generally it’s the ones that seem to be living their passion and posting their every move and green juice that get the stick here, but why should they be considered bad people for simply just living the dream, it’s a choice we all have. The issue is you only see the good shit, no body is perfect and we all know that deep down however, we seem to have forgotten that life is life, every body has a bad day and every one is dealing with their own strife, we are, after all only human. Unfortunately, rather than using social media for what it was intended for – connecting people – it has created a population of self obsessed, cruel individuals who unfortunately affect the lives of the every day Joe who has forgotten that their self worth and value is not measured on how many friends they have on social media.
Is it all bad?? There is no denying that technology has increased learning and job opportunities so it can’t be. However, it does create a challenge, I feel parents have it tough, how can you tell your child to lay off their phone when you’re constantly on your own, particularly when your job requires you to be online 24-7 (I so don’t miss that).
I implemented a new rule a few weeks ago after listening to my teacher Elena, no devices an hour before bed, I wouldn’t say I am heavy on my phone action but I know I can be, particularly if I’ve posted a new course or class, this new rule has made a massive difference, the easiest way to do this is to put the phone, ipad what ever it is as far away from you as possible, stick it in another room and forget all about it. Another rule, phones are not welcome at the dinner table, we had this rule any way and we don’t even have kids, sometimes this is the only time we get to chat about our day, this is my time to gab and if you know me you will know that this is something I am extremely good at, my dad often tells me his ears are bleeding when I get on one.
So what can we do when we’re out in the outside world? The no wifi, no phones allowed cafes are popping up every where and I think this is a genius idea, it hasn’t quite reached us just yet but next time you’re out resist the temptation to reach for your phone, just sit, take a breath, feel it, notice its quality, its essence, your phone won’t keep you alive, your breath will and does every second of every day.
Take in your surroundings and just people watch, watch the world go by and live in the moment and just be. If you do feel yourself reaching for your phone, at least try this exercise for just for a few seconds, as with any addiction, it takes time, slowly, slowly catch the monkey. Above everything take a trip down memory lane and remember what it was like before you had a phone, what made you happy, what made you sad? You might just surprise yourself. And if you come to class, I don’t care if you are flexible or not, we leave our egos at the door, we breath, we feel and we love not just the people around us, ourselves, imperfections especially, after all, if we can’t love ourselves how can we expect someone else to?
Read more at http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/science-technology/10-illnesses-brought-on-by-our-addiction-to-modern-1087745#8llsHjkOkAYxFdJh.99