Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Screen Addiction

I look around these days and what I mostly see is people looking into, or talking or typing into, lit-up screens of varying sizes. Riding to the airport on the airporter bus at 4am, my fellow passengers are checking email on their phone screens, playing music on their ipods, or loudly and self-importantly telling someone somewhere, "I'm on the Golden Gate Bridge now. Now I'm on 19th Avenue. Now I'm just arriving at the terminal." Glancing down into the commuter cars next to the bus, the passengers are texting furiously in an electronically-induced trance, ignoring their drivers. On the plane, people pull out their ipads, laptops, and kindles, and can barely be forced to shut them down for takeoff and landing. We are addicted to SCREENS.

I recently heard some radio reviewers describing a huge computer convention in San Francisco; they were talking about the new phenomenon of "3D Sound," which is different than Surround Sound. It requires large computer memory capacity and involves a way of recording sound at various distances from the body—or something like that that I don't yet comprehend. And they said, "The real Wow Factor at the show, though, was a virtual room, where each wall and the ceiling was a huge video screen, each programmed to give the person inside a vivid experience of a virtual reality.

This got me to wondering about today's "advancements" and what is to become of the generations of people who are mesmerized by these miniature, artificial "realities" and who are experiencing what some clever psychotherapist has dubbed "Nature Deficit Disorder." What is the attraction of merging into a tiny screen or projecting oneself into a 3D television experience on a giant TV screen? Is this a very odd way of seeking inner experience? Is this perhaps a technological shot in the arm, helping people develop collective consciousness by checking Facebook and Twitter all day long and in the middle of the night? I have read articles recently that tell of young people, girls especially, who sleep with their iphones so they won't miss anything that's going on with their entourage of "friends."

Is Spirit perhaps trying to get through to people, in a mass consciousness way, by directing their attention into any means of concentrating, into any means of focusing into something? I wonder why people want controlled 3D realities to project into, to be surrounded by, when they're already in the most amazing 3D reality which surrounds and embraces them totally and responds to their every thought like a supersensitive video game—their own LIFE! I was talking to a young woman at a coffee place this morning, asking for something, and she dourly turned immediately and walked into the back room to get it, never making eye contact, never speaking to me. Perhaps screen addiction is robbing people of interpersonal skills and kindness, as well as a connection to nature and life and their own deeper self? Perhaps screen addiction is a particular kind of mental training which will pay off if and when the internet goes down. Without screens, people will need to transfer their attention to the screen of what's materializing in their present moment. Or there will be the biggest global panic known to mankind, as billions of people are forced withdraw from their windows to electronic worlds.

Lately I hear the ads for ATT vs Verizon concerning new iphone coverage. ATT says they're superior because people can text AND surf online AT THE SAME TIME! Let's hear it for multitasking! People don't seem to value doing one thing at a time with full attention anymore. It's not about pacing oneself or presence, it's about speed and volume and how fragmented we can be without totally falling apart from a nervous breakdown.

How many people are sacrificing their intuition for supposed left brain speediness and the seduction of flashing lights and communication arising magically from the worldwide web? How many people have no idea what it means to be in their body? How many lack intimacy skills in person? How many are emotionally undeveloped? The more fragmented our awareness, the less able we are to access intuition. The more we're separated from our body, living from our mental zone, the less able we are to access intuition. And today, intuition is the way we are going to know what's just right for us to do, each step of the way. As the world moves more into the chaos that ensues as negativity, hatred, and violence surface, we need clear guidance from our soul, or our home frequency, which only flows when we're in the present moment, in our body, and tuned to silence. Intuition is the voice of the Soul. Several college students I've talked to recently tell me they cannot even study unless they have their huge list of music, on their mega-memory ipods, blasting into their heads.

So how about this, if you're a screen addict: leave your ipod at home, turn off your cell phone for one entire day, do one thing at a time with full attention, listen only to the sounds of nature for one hour, go somewhere without your GPS, don't take in information from screens, but let yourself OUT by making art and being creative, by using the senses you forget to notice most of the time. Try striking up a conversation with someone near you instead of looking into your phone. Don't even turn on your computer! OMG! LOL! LIL: Life Is large!!!! It may be a positive sign, though, that we seem to be evolving from the "i" generation (ipod, ipad, iphoto) to the "wi" generation.

copyright by Penney Peirce 2011