Smart Phones Aren't Making Us Smarter
You have the opportunity every moment to learn something new - something that you never knew before: to see something in a new way - to listen to a new sound - to awaken your mind to its first involvement with an unknown. I would think that with the rapid acceleration of technology these days, that we, as a species, would be getting smarter and smarter. But, it appears to me that we are not: instead, we are devolving into a hypnotic sleep in which people seem to be "present" without really "being" present. Humans are slipping deeper into a state of robotic living in which "conditioning"distorts all seeing, thinking and choosing. Life, for many people, is merely a series of reactions to current stimuli based on their past.
No matter how "smart" your phone is, the ability to "connect" you with people, information and events merely keeps you in a perpetual state of mental distraction: fickleness of mind. By rapidly connecting dis-similar thoughts and spontaneously reacting through words and actions, we humans are failing to "concentrate", to "think things through", to take the time to consider our options". This impulsive mindset is revealing itself on every level of human endeavor: from presidents of countries to the local homeless on our streets. It is happening around the world with devastating results: we are killing ourselves and the planet we live on due to this hypnotic state of "ignorance".
This phenomenon is not new - it has repeated itself many times in human history; but, I would think that if we are more intelligent than our ancestors due to this current information overload, we would be making smarter choices by supporting the natural synchronization of all Life on the planet. But, we are not: we are not smarter than our ancestors, we are more "ignorant" and "asleep" than they were.
A positive note lies in all this - the fact that each of us has the power to change this "mind-less" behavior by becoming "mindful" - in yourself, alone. You can choose to withdraw your awareness from the outside world of information and head inwardly towards peace....inner peace.
Peace is a feeling of stillness that arises when the mind moves from one calming thought to another similar thought over a period of time. This controlled, mental pattern leads to a peaceful mind that eventually becomes "single-focused" in a space of "non-action", called "concentration". Sustained concentration leads to a state of mind called "meditation" in which all thought ceases... only awareness remains.
Daily experience of "inner peace" affects your perspective on the world;
it changes your attitude and your actions. You are "in charge" to make conscious choices on purpose with purpose. You choose to "respond" rather than "react". You choose to see the world as it is and deal with reality in the moment. You create a more compassionate, loving world around you by honoring and embracing all living things in your life.
Our smart phones will never lead us to peace; nor will all the information overload they deliver. It is not that information is harmful, but it does serve to agitate us - as individuals, as groups, as countries. We need to counter this restlessness with a feeling of peace. Peace only emerges from a human "heart space" when the mind is at peace and "peace of mind" is a state that requires consistent practice and maintenance over a period of time.
My life's work revolves around "inner peace" - for myself and those who want to find this feeling.May the ideas and practices I share on this website be helpful in your search.
"Asleep" Pastel by Melinda Peterson 2005