Wrapped up in our gadgets

I’ve gotten into the habit of exploring local nature reserves and parks. It’s good exercise and it gets you away from the city streets and traffic for a little while. While I was walking in one of them, a jogger ran past me, she had her earphones in and was in a world of her own.  This reminded me of a story I read in “Buddhism Plain and Simple” by Steve Hagen. He was in a park and a jogger was coming round a lake towards him. As she ran a group of geese passed over her head, missing her by only a few feet and landing on the lake. Of course, she too had her earphones in. A once in a lifetime experience missed totally.

I had another reminder of this recently, when a pedestrian stepped out in front of my car. She didn’t even look, if the car was noticed there was no sign; another one with earphones in. Maybe I’m being over analytical here, but there are other things that spring to mind. More than once, being out with a group of friends and people being more into Social Networking on their phones than the people they’re with. I’ve heard an anecdote of a couple who were on a date, they sat across a table from one another and communicated via their tablet computers.

Half the reason I started the process of cutting down social networking and such things was to get away from the constant distractions. I was never present, unable to focus, there was always another update and other message. Beginning to walk the road away from that was a great move.

Technology was supposed to improve our lives, now it’s starting to look as if it’s taking over our lives. It’s becoming truer that we live through our gadgets, wrapped in a bubble. I wonder, when will our gadgets become the point of our lives; at that point, what is the point?

2 Comments

  1. Michael A. Lewis July 27, 2014

    Technology takes over the lives of those who allow technology to take over their lives.

    There is no point, with technology or without. There is only life and living. “Technology” is just the tools we use as we go about our lives. Homes are technology. Cars are technology. Cell phones are technology. This computer is technology.

    If mindfulness is one’s goal, technology is one part of life to be mindful of.

  2. Richard July 27, 2014

    Hi Michael,

    It’s something to be very mindful of, the problem is that the gadgets can take over before you know it. I also never addressed the expectation that we should reply instantly to the messages; most of which aren’t vital and can wait.

    If mindfulness is the goal, then it seems to me that technology can be a help; but improperly used it can be a huge hindrance.

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