There is something that has been bothering me lately. My growing dissatisfaction with computers and smart phones. Technology is meant to serve and enhance our lives. But all I can see is them demanding time, attention and depleting us of energy, like little parasites we carry around with us.
Of course you have probably heard all of this before, so I won’t repeat it all. But I would like to bring up a new point that is being overlooked: the sensory deprivation of technology. Computers, ipads, smartphones and TV only engage our eyes and our ears. This leaves out our touch, taste and smell. So extended amounts of time on the computer or TV is subjecting your body to a state of sensory deprivation. Kind of like going into one of those sensory deprivation tanks.
Natural experiences engage all 5 senses simultaneously; forging deeper memories and connections to those experiences. For example, I bet you can’t remember specific moments from all those countless time you’ve been on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Tumblr. It all seems the same in your mind, one undefinable lump of existence. If that doesn’t scare you, it should!
Yet you probably can vividly remember the sensation of the last time you walked barefoot in the grass, had an engaging conversation or savored a fresh, crisp fall day with a cup of chai tea.
These experiences are richer, deeper and give us refreshment. Whereas the computer is a 2-D existence that drains and gives you very little meaningful memories. I can’t help but think that the chronic exhaustion we seem to have is a direct result of subjecting our bodies and minds to such an un-natural activity for extended amounts of time.
Someone I know recently said that “to say yes to one thing is to say a thousand no’s to everything else”. It never occurred to me until now: For all that time I spent on Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr, I have said Yes to a 2-D online, sensory deprived experience and No to a thousand other richer, deeper, more vivid meaningful experiences. Experiences with people I could have loved, places I could have explored, memories I could have made. I don’t want to come to the end of my life with one undefinable lump of an internet existence, wondering what could have been if I had only had the willpower to disconnect and rediscover an abundant life outside the web browser.