In the Virtual or Present Moment?

As man becomes fatter, television becomes thinner.

“In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being.” ~Eckhart Tolle

When I was a kid, we played outside for hours, ate dinner as a family and physically had to get up to change the channel on the television.  That was about 35 years ago (wink, wink.)  It is mind-blowing to see how much things have changed.  Some for the better and some for the worse.  The advances in technology have brought computers, iPads, smart phones, 3-D television and more into our reality.  More then ever, we have the tools needed to connect to others anytime we desire.  Yet, our society seems to be more disconnected socially then ever.

The other night, I was at a restaurant waiting for my carry-out order.  I could not help but notice a father and son sitting at a table having dinner together.  What stood out was the disconnect.  The father was paying all of his attention to his iPhone while his son played with his food.  Not one word was said in the 5 – 10 minute time frame that I was there waiting for my food.  The son looked up at his father a few times, but didn’t say a word.  It made me wonder if that had become the new version of going out to dinner together.  Physically, they were at the same table, but the interaction was not there.  

Now don’t get me wrong, I think advances in technology have many benefits.  To name a few examples, technology helps to save lives, keeps us safe, guide us to destinations and allows us to communicate with people around the world.  However, when something good is taken to an extreme, it can backfire.  Have we become too dependent on it?  I literally felt my stomach turn and broke out in a sweat when I left my blackberry at home one day.  I had withdrawal.  Part of my routinue was thrown off.  That can’t be a good thing.

 Our society seems to be allowing technology to take our ability to be in the moment.  Sitting still has become a foreign concept to some people.  I became more aware of the power of technology when I went to get gas the other day.  I heard a television show playing in the background.  I looked around and noticed there were small monitors playing commercials for new shows at each gas pump.  Really? Isn’t this a little extreme.  I made me realize how nice it was to sit in my car in silence for a few precious moments waiting for the gas tank to fill.  The sound of the television blarring the the background was taking me few moments of silence away.   

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” ~Albert Einstein

When was the last time you lost power from a bad storm?  What did you do?  Did it reconnect you with the present moment?   How long can you go without using the computer, television, iPad, cell phone, music, email or texting?  Do you remember what it was like to wake up and not grab the cell phone right away? 

When was the last time you sat still and connected with the present moment instead of the virtual moment?   

 

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2 thoughts on “In the Virtual or Present Moment?

  1. Living in the moment was hard to do when i started learning to do it… Now living in the moments or living in the now is the only way i know how to and i don’t stress about yesterday or tomorrow… My cubical is surrounded by positive quotes. When i have dinner with my partner or my children i ask that cell phones be put away, so we can appreciate our time together…
    I remember also the times when we only had 7 channels on TV and had to walk to change the channels(lol). I have a young friend at work who i am try to teach how to live in the moment and how to bring positive energy into her life… Its not an easy start but with practice eventually its second nature; like breathing…. -Nikki

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