We all have them. Most of us consider them as our most precious possessions and become restless when they are not within reach. Be it a television, a mobile phone, a computer, a game-play, etc. — whether in the cosmopolitan cities or in rural towns or villages — our daily lives are flooded by electronic gadgets.
Information technology has definitely brought us “life at a fast pace”, and some of us feel overwhelmed by it. All these gadgets have changed how we live our lives. They have change how we communicate; how we eat and drink; how we shop; how we find transport for ourselves; how we entertain ourselves; how we educate ourselves and others; how we read and write; and even how we design our living, sleeping, and work spaces. No area of our life goes untouched by digitization. Many of us are excited by it and can’t wait until some new improved version of some gadget comes out. But, is all of this use of these gadgets healthy for our inner life?
We must ask, how has the use of electronic gadgets affected our thoughts and thinking patterns? From a spiritual perspective, the quality of our inner life begins with the quality of our thoughts and feelings. What goes on in our minds determines our overall mood and how we speak and interact. We do not need much imagination to see that the power of our thoughts — and our power to choose our thoughts and (re)actions — may easily be decreased when we have long-time exposure to intense, external stimulus from electronic gadgets. Our minds (and also our sense organs) are constantly flooded with fast changing images and information when we jump from one digital stimuli to another. The thinking process of our minds speeds up without our seemingly exercising the power to choose such speeding thoughts. Rather, it seems to just happen. And, we then find that our mental energy gets used up by the digesting of all the digital content which might be completely useless to us. Too much use of electronic gadgets wastes our energy, thoughts, and time. Ultimately, all of this affects the quality of our discernment and decisions we make, which, in turn, influences our relationships.
If we exercise our power of choice to control our thinking process, and do so with wisdom, then we can become balanced mentally and emotionally within and preserve our mental energy. If we take the initiative to exercise more control over our thought processes, we may find ourselves happier and more peaceful. We may find that less external distractions and increased concentration help our meditation practices and our receptivity to higher thinking and more subtle concepts. Maybe it is high time we re-evaluate our use of electronic gadgets.
About the Author
Rona Schweitz, Raja Yoga student and teacher with the Brahma Kumaris.