It is late. I woke up thinking about how technology makes things so convenient and how we steadily input more and more of it into our lives. A certain amount of convenience is nice but when everything is micro-packaged we think it means we should consume more of it. We eat more fast food because it steals less time from our day that we could be spending with our child. We “scan” RSS and twitter feeds while sipping on a 40 oz. diet coke. We get frustrated when there is no wi-fi in a building because we need to check our e-mail, now! The way we consume is hyper-accelerated. We get stressed out. We get sick.
This is not happening everywhere in the world. This blog hopes to examine how other cultures incorporate technology into their already existent value systems. I hope that we will learn the value in slowing down. I already wrote about the “slow family,” which I believe is a good place to begin a more conscious lifestyle with less stress. The world – out there – will take some time to slow down, but you can begin to become aware of the subtleties, flavors, and joys of taking it a notch down, while at home.
Invite less media into your home. Invite more silence. Invite more reading. Invite more contemplation. Create a sanctuary. Create sanity. Create values. Create moments. Create play and participation. Indulge your senses. Indulge in flavors. Indulge in love. Indulge in relaxation. Indulge in conversation.
How will this make tech more meaningful? Well, for starters, you will be a more cultivated being, capable of holding his/her ground against the rising tide of technological innovation. You will be able to actually think more clearly and have a more authentic relationship to technology. So many people develop bad relationships with technology. A bad relationship is basically a relationship that is unhealthy. You know that when young parents neglect their child by playing online video games, something has gone wrong. You know that when tweens start having sex by text messaging, “sexting,” something has gone wrong.
There is talk that technology could help us evolve. I believe this is true, but I wonder, “do we evolve for better or for worse?” Once we start evolving it is hard to go back? We must not lose our connection with nature. If anything technology needs to focus on helping us maintain a grasp on our reality. It needs to enhance our view. It needs to do this for us because we are precious. We must make technology friendly. It must serve our higher nature. It must help us cultivate our sense of admiration for nature, rhythm, flavor, and motion.
When things move too fast they create friction. Friction is stress on the micro-scale. I venture to guess that friction is like global warming or war on the macro-scale. I ask you to, “cool down.”
Have you ever made your own ginger ale? It might help. There is a lot of talk about doing it yourself (DIY) and I think that using our hands for something other than conducting tasks on our laptop, might actually serve us.
That is really what slowing down is all about; doing what serves us. We can’t let time slip us by. It sounds cheesy, but there are far too many precious moments being lost when we’re occupied with “smart” phones. Be smart.