‘What is it that we hunger for? The modern world would have us look no further than our smartphone…TikTok, Amazon, YouTube, Google…to find that elusive object of our desire. Yet, many are realizing that what we need most, is already within us – if we are willing to ‘let go’. Let go of what? The illusion at the heart of every crisis we face in the world today, every system of oppression. The illusion of separation, that ‘my’ cravings, grievances, conveniences are of paramount importance.’- KOSMOS Journal
However, the timeless question is: 'How do we let go of such a fundamental error in thinking?'
Time to Reclaim our Lives
Photo: OcusFocus/Getty Images/iStockphoto/The Guardian
‘In a world of permanent connection, in which attention has been commodified, switching off and away from the outside world is arguably harder than ever before.’- The Guardian
It is good to recall the wise words and sentiments of Mahatma Gandhi, when, well before the digital age of high-speed communication, big tech, social media and twittering, warned us against the pitfalls of living full throttle when he said, "there is more to life than increasing its speed"…
Generally speaking this is my view of the Big Tech and the so-called Social Media:the arrogance of power of control and unaccountability, creating a culture of envy, jealousy, inadequacy, virtual reality & friendship, loneliness, stress, anxiety, fear and depression.
Hear it straight from the horse’s mouth!
‘Social Media Is Destroying Society.’
'You are being programmed.'
Photo via Medium
Chamath Palihapitiya warned of the "misinformation" and "mistruth" spread on Facebook
‘I feel tremendous guilt,” admitted Chamath Palihapitiya, former Vice President of User Growth at Facebook, to an audience of Stanford students. He was responding to a question about his involvement in exploiting consumer behaviour. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works,” he explained. In Palihapitiya’s talk, he highlighted something most of us know but few really appreciate: smartphones and the social media platforms they support are turning us into bona fide addicts. While it’s easy to dismiss this claim as hyperbole, platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram leverage the very same neural circuitry used by slot machines and cocaine to keep us using their products as much as possible. Taking a closer look at the underlying science may give you pause the next time you feel your pocket buzz.’- Continue to read
Watch the Video: ‘How Social Media Is Rewiring Our Brains’
‘In an always-on culture, we need time to think.’
Photo via thriveglobal
…’Many of us are so attached to our phones and other devices that even a temporary separation provokes anxiety (though less so for those whose jobs are not screen-based, and whose communications are arguably better balanced as a result). The Guardian’s new series Reclaim Your Brain is a response to the growing frustration that many feel at the hold that smartphones have on our minds and happiness, and explores ways of resetting that relationship.
But tuning out, whether for two hours or two weeks, is not only about defying the masters of the digital universe – or turning back the clock to a time before news was 24/7 and phones were video cameras. What is turned towards also counts. The long evenings of January, with a new year stretching ahead of us, can be a good time for introspection as well as the self-improvement that traditionally takes the form of resolutions such as diets and exercise plans.
John Keats set out his theory of “negative capability” in a letter written in the middle of winter, after an evening walk with a friend. We cannot say whether the shortness of the day inspired the direction that the poet’s thoughts took that evening in 1817. But the state of not knowing that Keats believed artists should aspire to – the ability to be “in uncertainties, Mysteries and doubts without any irritable reaching after fact or reason” – seems more fitted to gloomy candlelight than blazing sunshine.
Doing nothing can be boring. Being alone can be miserable. Far too many people in the UK this winter are experiencing severe material or social deprivation. To those whose lives are otherwise full – of activities, appointments, responsibilities, pleasures – a few weeks’ hibernation may be welcome. For many others, it is a more stimulating life, rather than a quieter, more secluded one, that is desired.
But for others, this time of year is valuable for the sense of slowing down it brings; the chance to take stock either on one’s own or through talking with others. Looking ahead is one aspect of this. Another is looking back and inward; or not looking at all, but being in the moment with our hopes, mysteries and doubts.’- Editorial, The Guardian
See also: Reclaim your brain
I feel so happy that somehow I saw all these coming. I don’t know why, but years ago, I began to feel the harms of the Big Tech- sleep-deprivation, anxiety, stress, feeling on edge, and suchlike. and thinking back, wisely, decided that I should not be part of this so-called big tech revolution. This happened way back before all the new research that is now out, describing and highlighting the harm of too much tech.
All in all, even though my engagement with high tech might have made me more famous and much richer, I decided against that kind of involvement. All I do at the GCGI is not on social media, the big tech, the likes of Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram, Telegram, LinkedIn,.... I do not make money from them. I do not charge anybody to read them. I am not after instant fame! I just want to be happy and content, and more so, if I can, make someone else happy too. That’s the only thing I am after. This is the only thing I want to do.
‘The other day, I “Successfully” deactivated my Facebook account. I say “Successfully”, because Facebook does not make it easy to say goodbye. They want us to stay with them!
You know, given human weaknesses to addiction, that is any form of addiction, I thought I was watching me and watching you to see if you were watching me, a bit too much: Watching who "likes" or "dislikes" whatever I post there. As if one click here or one click there is enough for me to know how good or bad I am doing!
My mind was going “digital” and I was becoming “virtual”: And I said to myself, Hey Kamran, watch where you are going man! I thought I needed a time out, a time for some reflection and soul-searching. I do not know if you, too, are facing the same or not…’- Excerpts from a blog I wrote in 2012
See also: The Digital Age and Us
Time to Reclaim our Minds, Feelings and Emotions. Time to Get Real. Time to Answer the Call of our Humanity
Journey to Healing: Let Me Know What is Essential
Life Lessons I've Learned in a World of Conflicting Ideas and Aspirations.
Connect a painting by Jacky Gerritsen
Better ways to get better, find inner peace and contentment, lead a fulfilling life in harmony with mother nature, beauty and wisdom
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Photo via Thrive Global