Technology and contemplation . . .are they complimentary or mutually exclusive?
Research points out that technology can have positive effects on the brain. Today’s youth are able to ascertain between competing facts more accurately, make decisions more quickly and exhibit greater flexibility in employment.
Unprecedented access to technology and the ability to absorb multiple sources of information and to sort it for future reference is part of what’s rewiring our brains and making them more elastic.
Then there are concerns about changes in human attention and the depth of discourse among those who spend most or all of their waking hours under the influence of hyper-connectivity.
Multitasking and spending just 140 characters or less on a topic is creating a distracted generation without direction or the ability to engage in deeper thinking, which raises concerns about the health and well-being of adults who are simply unable to function without immediate access to online sources.
Shorter attention spans and a need for instant gratification can make it harder to concentrate on and solve complex problems, particularly if there are few social incentives for deeper engagement. An “always-on” environment can harm genuine human interaction among friends and family.
What about technology encouraging the never-ending, insatiable need for more? Does the intrusion of technology in our lives hinder contemplative thought, conversation, patience and a sense of play enjoyed by previous generations? Does all the connectivity get confused with experiencing a person or situation? Could it be that we aren’t enjoying our lives because we aren’t experiencing them in-depth?
If your mind is operating like a strobe light, what would happen if you chose to stimulate yourself less, intentionally, so that you could feel your experiences? What if you really felt and experienced what was happening now?